Arizona special election set to replace Rep. Trent Franks

Rep. Trent Franks, a Republican from Arizona, holds a hearing in February 2011 on Capitol Hill.

By Caroline Kenny, CNN

(CNN) — A special election to fill the seat vacated by Arizona Republican Rep. Trent Franks will be held next year, with a primary February 27 and the general election April 24.

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey announced the election dates Monday morning in an official state proclamation.

Franks said in a statement Thursday night he would resign from Congress after the House Ethics Committee said it would investigate allegations of sexual harrassment against him.

The House Ethics Committee announced earlier Thursday that it will investigate Franks to determine if he engaged in “conduct that constitutes sexual harassment and/or retaliation for opposing sexual harassment.”

In his statement, Franks acknowledged he made staffers “uncomfortable” and that he discussed fertility issues and surrogacy with two female staffers, but denied having ever “physically intimidated, coerced, or had, or attempted to have, any sexual contact with any member of my congressional staff.”

Franks originally said he would resign on Jan. 31, 2018, but on Friday, after additional alleged details of his behavior became public, said his resignation would take effect immediately.

The seat is now vacant and will remain so until the special election in April.

Franks’ initial announcement came hours after Sen. Al Franken, a Minnesota Democrat, announced he would step down in the wake of allegations about inappropriately touching women and two days after Michigan Democratic Rep. John Conyers announced he was resigning as allegations about his past sexual misconduct increased.

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