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Filling Pratt seat will be decided by county GOP

Following the death of Lawrence County Commission President Bill Pratt, officials will have to name someone to fill the remainder of his current term.

According to the Lawrence County Board of Elections, the naming of a successor is decided by the party who nominated the last occupant of the office.

In this case, the decision will fall to the executive committee of the Lawrence County Republican Party.

The central committee is to meet no less than five days after a vacancy occurs and no more than 45 days later.

Pratt, a Republican, was re-elected in 2016, defeating Democrat Doug Malone.

He had two years left on his current term and would have been up for election again in 2020.

His successor will fill the seat until Jan. 1, 2021, at which point they can run for re-election or the seat can go open.

Lawrence County Auditor Jason Stephens, who serves as chair of the county Republicans, told The Tribune that no timetable has been set for a meeting of the executive committee.

“It’s been a tough weekend,” he said, stating no meeting is planned the next week and that they may also wait until after the Christmas holidays to do so.

The rules for filling a commission seat are the same for all countywide offices.