Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) has scheduled a special election in April to select a successor to U.S. Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, the longtime lawmaker from Baltimore who died earlier this month.

Hogan’s announcement Monday is the starting gun for a potentially chaotic race to succeed Cummings (D), who has represented Maryland’s 7th Congressional District since 1996 and rose to national prominence as a champion of civil rights and political antagonist of President Trump.

Hopefuls have until Nov. 20 to declare their candidacy. The primary election will be Feb. 4, and a general election will be held April 28 — the same day voters will head to polls to nominate candidates for the 2020 election.

Holding two elections on that date means voters will pick someone to finish the remainder of Cummings’s term at the same time they nominate a primary candidate for the next term. In the heavily Democratic district, which includes roughly half of Baltimore City and parts of suburban Howard and Baltimore counties, the Democratic nominee is expected to be favored in both contests.

“We’re working out how it would appear on the ballot,” said Jared DeMarinis, director of candidacy and campaign finance for the Maryland State Board of Elections.

The scenario means primary voters could nominate one candidate in February to compete for a partial term and nominate a different one in April to compete for a two-year term beginning in January 2021.

Mark Gosnell, a Baltimore-area pulmonologist, has announced he intends to run.

At least nine other Democrats are considering candidacies, including Cummings’s widow, Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, and both halves of the politically connected Mosby couple — Baltimore State’s Attorney Marylin Mosby and Del. Nick Mosby (Baltimore City), who are close friends of the Cummingses.

Other possible candidates include former Baltimore mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake; Kweisi Mfume, former head of the NAACP who held Cummings’s seat for a decade; longtime state Del. Talmadge Branch (Baltimore City), majority whip of the House of Delegates; Del. Vanessa Atterbeary (Howard), vice chair of the House Judiciary Committee; and three Baltimore state senators with years of community service: Sens. Jill P. Carter, Antonio L. Hayes and Cory V. McCray.

No serious Republican contenders have emerged yet.

In a statement, Hogan said he opted to have the special election on the same day as the primary to avoid “the cost and confusion of multiple and additional election days.”

“It is imperative for the 7th Congressional District to have a strong voice in the House of Representatives,” Hogan said. “Free and fair elections are the very foundation of American democracy, and we encourage the citizens of the 7th District to take part and let their voices be heard.”