BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A special election will be held in November to fill a state Senate seat left vacant by the resignation of Karen Carter Peterson.

Senate President Page Cortez said qualifying will be July 20-22, with the primary election to coincide with congressional elections on Nov. 8 and the runoff, if needed, will be held on Dec. 10.

The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate reports Cortez said he chose that schedule because it gives candidates enough time to decide whether to qualify, and it ensures a good turnout by having the race on the congressional ballot.

Peterson, first elected to the Louisiana Legislature in 1999, resigned April 8 after 12 years in the Senate to address a nearly 30-year struggle with depression and gambling addiction.