U.S. Rep. Ed Whitfield to resign next week; special election to - WDRB 41 Louisville News

U.S. Rep. Ed Whitfield to resign next week; special election to be held

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) -- Retiring U.S. Rep. Ed Whitfield says he will resign from office next week, triggering a special election that will give his successor a head start in Congress.

Whitfield, a Republican who represents the 1st Congressional District, notified Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin with a letter on Monday. Whitfield's communications director Robert Hankins confirmed the letter and said his resignation will be effective at 6 p.m. on Sept. 6.

First elected in 1994, Whitfield announced his retirement last year in the midst of a House Ethics Committee investigation. The committee ultimately rebuked Whitfield for violating House rules, but said it was unintentional.

Bevin will call a special election to fulfill the remainder of Whitfield's term, which ends in January. The special election will likely be on the same day as the general election between Republican James Comer and Democrat Sam Gaskins.

Whitfield's district includes much of western Kentucky.

On Wednesday afternoon, several politicians expressed their gratitude for Whitfield's service.

Gov. Bevin said:

Both personally and on behalf of the Commonwealth, I want to thank Congressman Ed Whitfield for his many years of service to our state and our nation. He has served the people of Kentucky's first district admirably, and we wish him all the very best in the years ahead.

I will issue a proclamation declaring that the special election to fill this vacancy will be held on the same date and time as the General Election, which is November 8, 2016.

U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell offered this statement:

For more than two decades, Congressman Ed Whitfield has served the people of Kentucky’s First District with distinction. During his tenure in Congress, Ed has fought hard for the people of western Kentucky and it has been an honor working alongside him on a variety of issues, including our support for the workers at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant and for the men and women serving our country stationed at Fort Campbell. I am thankful for our many years of friendship, and Elaine and I extend every best wish to Ed, Connie and the entire Whitfield family in the years ahead.

Copyright 2016 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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