The Arizona Legislature’s nonpartisan legal counsel said the state's "resign to run" law won't be triggered if sitting lawmakers want to seek the U.S. House seat vacated by Trent Franks.

The nonbinding memo from the Legislative Council issued this week comes as confusion over the state constitutional provision hangs over several Republican members of the Legislature who are running or considering running for the seat.

Franks' resignation last week amid sexual harassment allegations triggered a special election to fill his seat in the heavily Republican district.

The provision said elected officials must resign to run for another office unless they are in the final year of their term. The Jan. 10 filing deadline is more than a year before the next legislative session begins on Jan. 14, 2019.

But the Council memo said the date to use is Jan. 7, 2019, so the provision doesn't apply. The memo was issued Monday in response to a question about when a lawmaker's term expires.

Also in the race is former Corporation Commissioner Bob Stump, a Republican, and former state Rep. Phil Lovas, who ran President Donald Trump’s Arizona campaign committee last year.

Several lawmakers, including GOP Sens. Debbie Lesko and Kimberly Yee and Rep. Tony Rivero, are considering jumping in, as is Maricopa County Supervisor Clint Hickman, a Republican. Attorney Joe Kanefield, a former state elections director who is representing Yee, said there is ambiguity in the Constitutional provisions affecting the start of the Legislature’s yearly session.

He said that and the fact that only a few days are at issue means it is unlikely a lawmaker would be removed from office if they decided to run and did not resign.

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