COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Gov. Nikki Haley has ordered a special election to fill the congressional seat being vacated as Tim Scott becomes South Carolina’s next senator.

Haley’s spokesman Rob Godfrey says she signed the executive order today, setting the timeline for the special election.

Scott officially resigned from his 1st District seat in a letter dated Dec. 28 and effective on Jan. 2.

Haley appointed Scott on Dec. 17 to replace resigning Sen. Jim DeMint. South Carolina’s first black U.S. senator will face a special election in 2014 to fulfill the remaining two years of DeMint’s term.

Haley’s order means party primaries for Scott’s former seat will be March 19. Any necessary runoffs would be April 2. The general election will be May 7.

Candidates must file between Jan. 18 and Jan. 28.