Candidate qualifying for the October 2015 elections started yesterday and continues until tomorrow afternoon. As of 1PM today (just over halfway through the process), here are two observations from examining data on those who qualified for statewide, legislative, and BESE races:
- “Incumbent’s Day” – nearly all of those who are not term limited out decided to qualify yesterday, and as of this writing, all statewide and BESE incumbents who should have filed have done so. Furthermore, only one state senator (Republican Norby Chabert) and three state representatives (Democrat Steve Ortego, Republican Lenar Whitney, and Democrat Ebony Wodruff) have yet to file;
- Lack of interest – Even though qualifying concludes tomorrow afternoon, the volume of candidates qualifying as of this writing has been underwhelming. To illustrate:
- On the statewide front, only the Governor, Lt Governor, Attorney General, Agriculture Commissioner, and Insurance Commissioner had more than two people filing;
- For BESE races, all but one race (Kira Orange Jones’) have two candidates running, but none have three or more candidates;
- For state house races, 64 out of 105 districts only have one candidate running, while 30 more have two candidates running. That means that there will be no more than 11 House races that could go into a runoff;
- For state senate races, 25 out of 39 districts only have one candidate running, while 12 more have two candidates running. That means that there is the possibility of a runoff in only two state senate districts.
(4 PM update on 9/9): all statewide officials and legislators except for Ebony Woodruff have filed for re-election.