(AP) - Louisiana has wide-open races for governor and lieutenant governor.
Candidates for various statewide political offices signed up this week for fall elections scheduled for October 24.
As of the close of the three-day qualifying period ending Thursday, nine candidates signed up to run for governor, including major candidates Public Service Commissioner Scott Angelle, a Republican from Breaux Bridge, Lieutenant Governor Jay Dardenne, a Republican from Baton Rouge, State Representative John Bel Edwards, a Democrat from Amite and U.S. Senator David Vitter, a Republican from Metairie.
Also seeking the top post in Louisiana government is Beryl Billiot from Kenner, Cary Deaton from Metairie, Jeremy Odom from Natchitoches, Eric Orgeron from Metairie and S.L. Simpson from Shreveport.
Republican Bobby Jindal is term-limited as governor, creating the first vacancy for the position in eight years.
With Dardenne seeking to move into the governor's mansion, that also creates a heated competition for the state's No. 2 job. Four candidates have signed up for the post of Lieutenant Governor. They include Elbert Guillory, a Republican from Opelousas, Baton Rouge Mayor, Melvin “Kip” Holden, a Democrat, former Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser, a Republican and Jefferson Parish President John Young, who is from Metairie.
Louisiana's five other GOP statewide incumbents are running for re-election: Secretary of State Tom Schedler, Attorney General Buddy Caldwell, Agriculture Commissioner Mike Strain, Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon and Treasurer John Kennedy.
Schedler, a Republican from Mandeville, will be challenged by Chris Tyson, a Republican from Baton Rouge.
Caldwell, a Republican will be challenged by four other candidates including Geraldine Baloney, a Democrat form Garyville, former U.S. Representative Jeff Landry, a Republican from New Iberia, Marty Maley, a Republican from Baton Rouge, and Democrat Ike Jackson of Plaquemine.
Kennedy will be challenged for another term in office by Jennifer Treadway, a Republican from Baton Rouge.
Strain, a Republican from Covington, is being challenged by three opponents including Charlie Greer, a Democrat from Natchez, Adrian Juttner from Abita Springs and Jamie LaBranche from LaPlace.
Donelon, a Republican from Metairie, is being challenged for another term in office by Donald Hodge, Jr., a Democrat from Baton Rouge, Charlotte McGehee, a Democrat from Baton Rouge, and Matt Parker, a Republican from West Monroe.
In the attorney general's race, Caldwell has drawn strong opposition from GOP former Congressman Jeff Landry, who has received the endorsement of the state Republican Party.
Across the state, nearly 2,100 candidates registered for the 1,150 elections for state and local offices, according to data from the secretary of state. Candidates for local races signed up with their parish clerks of court.
Schedler described it as "one of the quietest qualifyings we've had." He said he was stunned that 494 candidates around Louisiana were elected automatically when no one registered to run against them.
"That's kind of an astounding figure of 43 percent going in unopposed. It just seems high," Schedler said. "We're getting more and more concerned about voter apathy and voter turnout, and that fuels that argument to some degree."
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Posted on Fri, September 11, 2015
by Associated Press