Qualifying begins at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday for the Nov. 4 statewide elections, which include U.S. Senate and congressional races, judgeships, district attorney posts and a slew of seats in local government throughout the seven-parish metro area.
While some hopefuls have announced their intention to run in recent weeks, the fields won’t officially be set until qualifying ends at 4:30 p.m. Friday. If only one person qualifies — as often happens with incumbent judges, for example — that person is automatically elected.
Runoffs, where necessary, will be Dec. 6.
In the U.S. Senate race, incumbent Democrat Mary Landrieu has been taking heat for many months from expected Republican challengers Rob Maness and outgoing U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy.
In the race for the 6th Congressional District seat Cassidy is vacating, voters in St. Charles and St. John the Baptist parishes, among others, likely will have a raft of candidates to choose from, with former Gov. Edwin Edwards, former state coastal protection chief Garret Graves and at least six others expected to officially declare.
The races for the 1st and 2nd District seats in the U.S. House — held by Republican Steve Scalise and Democrat Cedric Richmond, respectively — have been quiet, with little competition expected.
On the local level, district attorneys in Orleans, Jefferson, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. John and St. Charles parishes will be up for re-election, but the headline race probably will be to succeed embattled St. Tammany and Washington parishes District Attorney Walter Reed, who is not running for a sixth term.
Looking at some of the other races parish-by-parish:
- Orleans Parish voters will have to decide who will fill the state House seat vacated by Jared Brossett, who is now the New Orleans City Council member representing District D. Other Orleans races include a seat on the 4th Circuit Court of Appeal plus dozens of judgeships at the civil and criminal district courts, plus the juvenile, municipal and traffic courts.
- In Jefferson, there is an open seat on the 5th Circuit Court of Appeal, as well as the entire 24th Judicial District Court bench, Parish Court, Juvenile Court and the School Board. In Harahan, voters will choose a new mayor to replace Vinny Mosca, who is running for one of five City Council seats, all at-large. Tim Walker, who was elected Harahan’s police chief earlier this year in a special election, will be running for a full term.
- In St. Tammany, two seats on the 1st Circuit Court of Appeal are up for grabs, along with the 22nd Judicial District Court bench and the parish School Board. Slidell will elect a city judge and a marshal; Abita Springs a mayor and five aldermen; Pearl River a mayor, police chief and five aldermen; and Folsom a mayor and three aldermen.
- In Plaquemines Parish, voters will choose a new parish president to replace the term-limited Billy Nungesser, and the 25th Judicial District Court bench and seats on the Parish Council and School Board are up for election. Nungesser is expected to run for lieutenant governor next year.
- In St. Bernard, the 34th Judicial District Court bench and the School Board are up for election.
- In St. Charles, seats on the 29th Judicial District Court bench and School Board will be on the ballot.
- In St. John, candidates can qualify for two judgeships in the 40th Judicial District and the parish’s School Board.
The District 1 seat on the Louisiana Public Service Commission is before voters in every metro-area parish except St. John.
There are races for constable in all seven metro-area parishes, and races for justice of the peace in all of the parishes but Orleans.
Early voting for the Nov. 4 election will be Oct. 21-28.
Follow Chad Calder on Twitter, @Chad_Calder.