Voters in most of Stamford and parts of Darien will go to the polls March 2 in a special election to choose their next state senator.

The 27th Senate District seat was left vacant Jan. 5 when five-term Democratic incumbent Carlo Leone resigned to take a position with the state Department of Transportation.

Three candidates are contesting the special election; State Rep. Patricia Billie Miller (D-Stamford); Republican Joshua Esses, a bankruptcy attorney; and Independent Brian Merlen, who ran unsuccessfully for U.S. Congress in 2020 and the state House in 2016.

Leone was elected to his fifth term in November but resigned the day before the 2021 General Assembly convened to take a position as special adviser to Transportation Commissioner Joseph Giulietti.

Leone was co-chair of the legislature’s Transportation Committee.

Miller, who has served as a state representative since 2009, is an assistant majority leader and serves on the Education, Finance, Revenue, and Bonding, and Judiciary committees.

A win by Miller would force a special election to fill her House seat.