Speedy schedule for special election to fill Henriquez seat
Candidates in the race to succeed expelled Rep. Carlos Henriquez of Dorchester have only until Feb. 24 to file the required 150 nomination signatures.
The timetable is compressed under a law signed this week by Gov. Deval Patrick after the House and Senate on Monday sped through legislation calling for an April 29 special election.
Voters in districts formerly represented by Boston Mayor Marty Walsh of Dorchester and his top legal aide Eugene O’Flaherty of Chelsea are scheduled to settle primaries in those special elections on March 4, with the final election in those specials scheduled for April 1, the same day as the primary in the district formerly represented by Henriquez.
Candidates in the race to succeed Henriquez must file signatures with the state on Feb. 26, only two days after they turn signatures in locally for certification. Henriquez on Jan. 15 began serving a six-month jail sentence following his conviction on assault and battery charges.
As he appeals, his former colleague Rep. Russell Holmes last week said he believed Henriquez would run for election to his old seat and raised the possibility that Henriquez could be released from jail as early as April 15, midway between the primary and special election in Dorchester.
It’s possible that another special election could be ordered by the House, although Rep. Steven Walsh of Lynn has held on to his seat since announcing his plan to take a job with a hospital trade group and divorce himself from all health care legislation.
Special elections typically take about 13 weeks from start to finish and the House and Senate are scheduled to finish formal session this year at the end of July.