(KFYI News) – Arizona law already has a plan in place for replacing State Sen. Chester Crandell on the November ballot.

Crandell was found dead earlier this week on his ranch near Heber in an apparent horse riding accident.

According to Secretary of State Ken Bennett, Crandell is unopposed in the Aug. 26th GOP primary, for which early ballots have already been mailed out.  Therefore, he's almost certain to win.

Once that happens, the Republican precinct committeemen from the four counties that are partially included in Crandell's district (Legislative District 6) will meet and select a person to replace Crandell on the general election ballot.

If the person they select is one of the two existing House candidates for the district, then they will go through the same process to choose a new House candidate for the November election.

Crandell's death raises the prospects that an independent candidate could be elected to the Arizona legislature for the first time ever.  There are no Democrats running for Crandell's seat, but there is an independent in the race. 

Tom O'Halleran is a former lawmaker from Sedona who would have had an uphill battle taking on Crandell as an incumbent.

(The Associated Press contributed to this story.)