BATON ROUGE — The major candidates for governor, lieutenant governor and other statewide offices have been campaigning for months. But they can’t appear on the Oct. 24 ballot unless they submit their sign-up paperwork.
Tuesday is the start of the election qualifying period, where candidates officially add their names to the ballot. The sign-up period runs for three days, through Thursday.
Candidates seeking the top jobs on the ballot — including governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, treasurer and insurance commissioner — must pay their qualifying fees and file their paperwork at the secretary of state’s office in Baton Rouge. That’s also true of candidates for the eight elected seats to the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.
Those running for state legislative seats or local elections sign up with their parish clerk of court.
Already announced for the governor’s race are three Republicans: Public Service Commissioner Scott Angelle; Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne; and U.S. Sen. David Vitter. So far there is one Democrat running, state Rep. John Bel Edwards. Most of the men are expected to show up in the opening hours of the qualifying period.
Gov. Bobby Jindal, seeking the GOP presidential nomination, is term-limited and can’t run for re-election. That creates the first wide-open race for the seat in eight years.
With Dardenne seeking to move up to the governor’s mansion, that also creates a heated competition for the state’s No. 2 job. One Democrat is announced for that race, Baton Rouge Mayor Kip Holden.
The three Republicans are state Sen. Elbert Guillory; former Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser; and Jefferson Parish President John Young.
Incumbents in the other five statewide offices — attorney general, secretary of state, treasurer, insurance commissioner and agriculture commissioner — have all drawn announced opponents, though few have well-financed challengers.
The attorney general’s race is expected to be a tight contest with Republican incumbent Buddy Caldwell facing a challenge from former GOP Congressman Jeff Landry. Also in the race is Port Allen attorney Marty Maley, another Republican
As always, questions remain about whether any surprise, last-minute candidates will jump unexpectedly into one of the statewide races.
Local offices on the ballot include sheriff, clerk of court, tax assessor, coroner, justice of the peace, police jurors, state senator and representative.
Doyline residents will vote for two aldermen.