BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Baton Rouge Rep. Clif Richardson is resigning from his seat in the state House of Representatives as he fights health problems.

The Republican lawmaker's resignation is effective Jan. 2. House Speaker Chuck Kleckley called a special election for March 2 to replace Richardson.

Richardson has cancer. Kleckley's office said Friday that the lawmaker is leaving his elected post to "devote his time to maintaining his health."

"Not being able to give my best, I know it is time for someone else to step in and serve," Richardson said in a statement.

Candidates interested in running for the seat can sign up for the election from Jan. 9 to 11.