LAURINBURG, N.C. (WBTW) — Laurinburg City Council voted Tuesday night to begin taking applications to fill a seat left vacant by the death of Councilman Donald Rainer in December.

Applications will be accepted starting on Wednesday. The deadline is 5 p.m. on Friday, a special council meeting has been scheduled for 6 p.m. Jan. 25 to vote on Rainer’s replacement, who will fill the seat until the next election.

During Tuesday night’s meeting, Mayor Pro Tem Mary Evans made a motion to appoint Rainer’s wife, Rosemary, to replace him without a formal application process, which the county is permitted to do. However, the motion was denied.

Council members expressed support for Mrs. Rainer’s appointment but also cited a need to keep the process transparent.

Rainer died at Duke University Medical Center in Durham. He was 69 years old.