Earlier this month, State Rep. David Wheeler (R-Vestavia Hills) unexpectedly passed away at 72, just as he was wrapping up his first term in the Alabama House of Representatives.

Wheeler qualified with the Alabama Republican Party (ALGOP) and was unopposed in the primary for the GOP spot on the November ballot in House District 47.

However, his passing has initiated a process to find a replacement, handled by ALGOP. 

According to ALGOP spokeswoman Jeannie Negrón Burniston, a subcommittee formed by the party's candidate committee will explore options.

"The candidate committee is forming a subcommittee that will interview the potential candidates and then make a recommendation to the full candidate committee," Burniston said in a text to 1819 News.

That candidate will face the winner of the Democratic primary contest between Jim Toomey and Christian Coleman.

House District 47 includes parts of Vestavia Hills and Hoover.

Wheeler defeated then-Democrat nominee Toomey in 2018 by nine points to secure the seat vacated by Jack Williams.

To connect with the author of this story, or to comment, email jeff.poor@1819News.com.