A dental appointment brought me to Jefferson Parish Monday, two days after voters went to the polls, and I wasn't surprised to see plenty of political signs along my way.

This much was a bit surprising, though: Some of the signs weren't left over from Saturday's election. They were already up for the next one.

Sheriff Joe Lopinto, appointed by popular former sheriff Newell Normand as his interim successor until the March special election, is already off and running. He's got big signs on big, prominently placed fences, the kind that are meant as a show of early strength.

Normand always won handily, but Lopinto will likely have more of a battle on his hands. Retired JPSO Col. John Fortunato, the office's longtime spokesman, has plenty of signs around the parish too, and this week he made one more big move: He announced his campaign team for his run for the job, and it features some of the key people behind Kenner City Councilman Dominick Impastato's parish council victory on Saturday. They include consultant Greg Buisson and Christy Cannella Negrotto, who will manage Fortunato's campaign.

Impastato, of course, beat state Sen. Danny Martiny, Normand's very publicly endorsed candidate, in a race that was widely viewed as a preview of the sheriff's contest — which is itself shaping up as a showdown between the parish's two main political factions, one associated with Buisson and the other with Normand.

Fortunato scheduled a formal campaign kick-off for Thursday, but it looks like the main event has already started.

Follow Stephanie Grace on Twitter, @stephgracela.