CAPE ELIZABETH — The town will hold a special election Aug. 16 to fill the vacant seat for House District 121, instead of the Nov. 8 date hoped for by town councilors.

The seat was vacated earlier this spring when Democrat Cynthia Dill of Cape Elizabeth beat out Republican Louis B. Maietta Jr., of South Portland, in a special election for the state Senate seat in District 7.

Town councilors recently announced their preference for the special election to be held in November, in conjunction with the statewide general election.

But Gov. Paul LePage contacted town officials in Cape Elizabeth earlier today. Town Manager Michael McGovern sent out an email to town councilors this afternoon.

“As the Maine Legislature will apparently be having a brief special session in September to resolve congressional reapportionment, Governor LePage believes it is inappropriate to wait until November for the special election to fill the vacancy in Maine House District 121,” McGovern wrote. “His office today contacted us to discuss the need to move forward with an election as soon as possible.”

Party committee members from Cape Elizabeth will need to caucus within the next few weeks to nominate candidates. A deadline of July 11 has been set to file certificates of nomination with the secretary of state. Ballots will then be printed and the candidates will have a short window in which to campaign.

The news surprised Dill this afternoon. She said she has not heard any discussions about a special session to address congressional reapportionment.

Dill said the parties will need to scramble in order to reach out to voters in Cape Elizabeth. She said she does not know anyone who has indicated an intention to run.

“There are a lot of really good candidates who would be anxious to run,” Dill said. “The community will be very engaged as usual.”

The town party chairs could not be reached immediately.