JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Gov. Tate Reeves has set a nonpartisan special election to fill a seat in the Mississippi House of Representatives.

The race will be in District 88 in parts of Jasper and Jones counties.

Republican Rep. Ramona Blackledge of Laurel resigned Jan. 31, less than a month after the start of the four-year term. The freshman lawmaker said she had to choose between serving in the House and collecting her state retirement pay. She said she could not afford to relinquish the pension that she earned during 40 years of working for county government.

Candidates' qualifying deadline for the House election is March 2. The special election is April 21. If a runoff is needed, it will be May 12.

In Mississippi special elections, candidates run without party labels on the ballot but they often tell voters their party affiliation.

The legislative session is scheduled to end May 3.

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