District 1 voters will go to the polls July 20 for a special city council election.

District 1 voters will go the polls July 20 in a special election to replace Councilman James Horning Jr., who resigned unexpectedly last week.

City council set the date for the election during a special meeting Tuesday night. The winner of the election will fill the remainder of Horning’s term, which runs through April 2023.

Candidates have until June 21 to file to run in the election.

In order to be eligible to run, a potential candidate must be a registered voter, reside in the district he or she is seeking to represent, have lived in the city for at least one year and submit a nominating petition signed by 10 qualified voters in the district. Those interested should contact City Secretary Renee Bensley at citysecretary@newark.de.us or 302-366-7000.

District 1 encompasses the western part of the city, including Nottingham Green, Nottingham Manor, Oaklands, Cherry Hill, Timber Creek, Hunting Hills, Country Hills, Valley Stream, Briarcreek, Pheasant Run, Christine Manor and surrounding areas.

While an in-person polling place will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., residents are encouraged to vote by absentee ballot. The city will send an absentee ballot request form to every registered voter in the district.

Horning announced his resignation May 25, citing “unexpected personal challenges I need to deal with.” He stepped down just a month into his second term, which he won after running unopposed in the April 13 municipal election.

A lawyer from Nottingham Green, Horning was elected in 2019, defeating four-term incumbent Mark Morehead. He also served as deputy mayor since August 2020.

In an email to supporters, Horning said he will help constituents with city issues as a “confidential intermediary in an unofficial role” until the new council member is sworn in.

The July 20 vote will be Newark’s first true special election since November 2013, when Polly Sierer was elected mayor to replace Vance A. Funk III, who had resigned two months prior. The following year, a special election was held after now-mayor Jerry Clifton resigned from his council seat, but that vote was held concurrently with a regularly scheduled election.

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