Running updates from first day of Qualifying Week

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I don’t know about you, but, right now, I am whistling “It’s the most wonderful time … of the year.”

“Wait!”, you say, it’s not Christmastime, how can it be the most wonderful time of the year? “Because it’s Qualifying Week,” I exclaim.

This is a week when the imagined becomes possible and the real becomes serious.  This is when every congressional, state and local candidate who seeks to be on the ballot in 2012 must submit their candidacy to the appropriate governing body. It begins today at noon and ends at that same time on Friday.

How magical!

Cost for congressional candidates is $6,960 without a party, $10,440 with a party. Cost of legislative candidates is $1,187.88 without a party, $1,781.82 with a party.

And to keep you updated on all of this ‘magic’, I’ll post running updates in this post, in addition to the deluge of posts I am sure to write on the rest of SaintPetersBlog. So keep checking back.

Updates

5:11 p.m. – Rep. Jeff Clemens offered this smart idea: He tweeted his Fed Ex tracking number so that those interested could follow the progress of his qualifying papers.

4:36 p.m. – U.S. Rep. C.W. “Bill” Young officially qualified Monday to see a 22nd term in Congress, having turned in enough signatures to get on the ballot. The Republican from Indian Shores in Pinellas County is running in the 13th Congressional District after redistricting.  Also on Monday, Democrat Jessica Ehrlich qualified to run against the veteran congressman, who is the senior Republican in Congress. Young, 82, was first elected to Congress in 1970 after ten years in the Florida Senate.

4:34 p.m. – On the heels of his official campaign launch for the newly-drawn Florida House District 74 seat, State Representative Doug Holder announced that he qualified for the ballot.

“Today is an exciting day for me!” said Representative Holder.  “Today, I officially qualified to have my name on the ballot this election and can continue to rev up my campaign for District 74.  I look forward to getting out in the community and continuing to meet all of my good neighbors as we head toward Election Day.”

4:44 p.m. – U.S. Rep. C.W. “Bill” Young officially qualified Monday to see a 22nd term in Congress, having turned in enough signatures to get on the ballot. The Republican from Indian Shores in Pinellas County is running in the 13 th Congressional District after redistricting.  Also on Monday, Democrat Jessica Ehrlich qualified to run against the veteran congressman, who is the senior Republican in Congress. Young, 82, was first elected to Congress in 1970 after ten years in the Florida Senate.

4:06 p.m. – Ian Whitney, a Democrat running for House District 120 in Key West, failed to qualify for the ballot by petition by just six signatures.

3:38 p.m. – Among the state House candidates in Tampa Bay to qualify right away were Republican incumbents Larry Ahern, Ed Hooper, Peter Nehr, and Dana Young.

3:34 p.m. – The News-Press is reporting that the following candidates from Lee County qualified: Michael Grant in District 76, Dane Eagle in 77 and Heather Fitzenhagen in 78.

3:28 p.m. – A primary between Democrats Lois Frankel and Kristin Jacobs was set Monday in the 22nd Congressional district with Republican Adam Hasner qualifying for the other side of the ballot.

3:23 p.m. – Republican Rep. Sandy Adams has qualified for Congressional District 7, ending discussion of her moving to avoid a primary against Rep. John Mica.

2:20 p.m. – “The first candidate to wander into the state elections office Monday was James Jett, the Republican clerk of courts in Clay County, who’s running in the 3rd Congressional District against Rep. Cliff Stearns of Ocala,” reports Steve Bousquet.

1:57 p.m. – Incumbent state Sens. Greg Evers, John Thrasher, David Simmons, Alan Hays, Nancy Detert, Ellyn Bogdanoff and Anitere Flores, all Republicans, and Democratic incumbent Sens. Bill Montford, Audrey Gibson, Arthenia Joyner, Eleanor Sobel, and Oscar Braynon all had already qualified within the first half hour of the period for filing papers.

10:50 a.m. – George Bennett looks at which candidates in Palm Beach County might get a free ride.

10:00 a.m. – Jeremy Wallace notes that the Sarasota region’s two state Senate races may be over by Friday without anyone casting a vote. That is because no candidates have filed to take on either Sen. Nancy Detert, R-Venice, or Republican Bill Galvano, who is running for a Senate district that covers most of Manatee County.

9:52 a.m. – Here’s a round-up of media coverage of Qualifying Week:

AP: Qualifying for Florida elections beginning Monday

DBNJ: Volusia, Flagler candidates line up in big election year

NWF Daily News: Election qualifying begins Monday

News-Press: Qualifying begins for political hopefuls

9:39 a.m. – This morning, Aaron Bosshardt, candidate for Florida House District 21, sent an email to campaign supporters alerting them he plans on turning in his paper immediately after the qualifying period opens.

Consultant Jason Roth tells us that “District 21 is possibly the best pick-up opportunity for House Democrats North of the I-4 corridor as it has trended more and more Democratic over the past couple of cycles; John Kerry took 48.8% of the vote in 2004, Barack Obama took 50.4% in 2008, and Alex Sink took a strong 54.2% in 2010. The district is currently held by freshman Republican incumbent Keith Perry.”

8:50 a.m. – Kartik Krishnaiyer of the Political Hurricane wonders, “whether Florida Democrats have recruited some candidates that may be lying in the weeds waiting to file for some of the most important seats in the state?” The week begins with almost twenty legislative districts where Barack Obama got over 45% of the vote in 2008 without a Democratic candidate. Several other races where Obama got in excess of 45% lack a serious Democratic candidate.

8:41 a.m. – Read the Sunshine State News’ Jim Turner’s report on Qualifying Week here.

8:19 a.m. – This was first in Sunburn, but it’s definitely worth repeating: Steve Schale, Florida’s smartest Democratic political operative shares his five things to watch during Qualifying Week. … 5. Does anyone bail on a Congressional run? … 4. How many of the lucky unopposed will remain that way? … 3. How many swing districts will go unchallenged? … 2. Miami, Miami, Miami.

#1 thing to watch for during Qualifying Week: “Does Jack Latvala run for re-election in the North Pinellas district, which is essentially his old old seat, or does he run for re-election in the South Pinellas district, which is the district he currently represents?”

7:30 a.m. – Rep. Shawn Harrison will forgo running for the open State Senate seat created by Ronda Storms’s decision to run for Hillsborough Co. Property Appraiser and instead focus on re-election to House District 63.

6:42 a.m. – Nearly 300 congressional and legislative candidates have gathered enough valid petition signatures to appear on this fall’s ballot, according to information on the state Division of Elections website.

Friday – Setting up a primary battle, Rep. Jeff Brandes filed paperwork Friday to run for the state Senate. Brandes will run in District 22, which includes most of southern Pinellas County and parts of eastern Hillsborough County.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.