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Sign-up period begins for Louisiana's Oct. 24 election

Sign-up period begins for Louisiana's Oct. 24 election

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — 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 was 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 located at 8585 Archives Ave.

Hours of operation are 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. daily.

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, parish and municipal races will qualify with their parish Clerk of Court. Lafourche Parish offices are located at 303 W. Third St. in Thibodaux and in Galliano at 16241 E. Main, Hwy. 308.

In Lafourche, the Parish President race looks to be a hot one. Incumbent Charlotte Randolph will seek her fourth term as Parish President.

So far, she appears to be challenged by current Lafourche Parish Councilmen Aaron Caillouet and Joe Fertitta, both from Thibodaux, Mathews businessman Jimmy Cantrelle, and Galliano native Harris "Chuckie" Cheramie, a Greater Lafourche Port Commission member.

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.

The Gubernatorial Primary Election will be held on Saturday, Oct. 24th, and the General Election will be held on Saturday, Nov. 21st.

The last day to register to vote is Sept. 23.

Early voting begins October 10 and runs through Oct. 17.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.