Mayoral candidate heavyweights Kip Holden and Mike Walker filed their paperwork Wednesday to run for the parish’s top job in the Nov. 6 election.
Candidates also filed to run for 11 of the 12 Metro Council seats, with the sole exception of District 1, which encompasses much of the northern part of the parish.
District 1 Councilman Trae Welch said late Wednesday he had been delayed in court and would qualify Thursday.
Five candidates are vying to replace Ulysses “Bones” Addison as the District 2 councilman, while incumbents Chandler Loupe, Scott Wilson, Ronnie Edwards and Tara Wicker are so far unopposed.
Newcomers Buddy Amoroso, who is running for Mike Walker’s seat, and Ryan Heck, who is running to replace Alison Gary, also have no opponents as yet.
Incumbents Donna Collins-Lewis, C. Denise Marcelle, Joel Boé and R.J. “Smokie” Bourgeois are all facing challenges.
In the mayor-president’s race, Holden is angling for a third term in the parish’s top office while Walker, a three-term Metro Councilman, is angling to take down his former political ally.
Walker qualified just after 9 a.m., arriving in the Clerk of Court’s Office with his wife, Marie, and his daughter Ashleigh.
Holden followed a couple of hours later, entering the office hand-in-hand with his wife, Lois, and joking with Clerk of Court Doug Welborn as he signed paperwork.
The race to replace Kitty Kimball on the Louisiana Supreme Court is a crowded one with a surprise entrant, lawyer Mary Olive Pierson, joining John Michael Guidry, Toni Manning Higginbotham, Jeff Hughes, William “Bill” Morvant and J.E. “Duke” Welch in the race.
Pierson said she decided to run because spending $675 in qualifying fees is cheaper than contributing $5,000 to each of the six judges running.
“The worst thing you could do is support the winner, because then you got five other judges mad at you,” she said.
Pierson added that she is taking the campaign seriously, and believes she has the name recognition and experience to win.
All five City Court judges qualified to run for re-election.
None has drawn a challenger so far.
In congressional qualifying, there were few surprises, with the expected showdown between Reps. Charles Boustany, R-Lafayette, and Jeff Landry, R-New Iberia, now official after both qualified Wednesday morning.
The two incumbent congressmen are forced to run against each other because of redistricting after Louisiana lost a congressional seat for not having enough population growth.
Boustany and Landry are joined in the 3rd District that covers southwestern Louisiana by a third Republican, Bryan Barrilleaux, of Lake Charles, who has vowed not to accept any donations or spend any campaign money, and Libertarian candidate “Jim” Stark, of Lake Charles.
Thus far, Libertarian congressional candidates statewide outnumber Democratic candidate.
Incumbent Rep. Cedric Richmond, of New Orleans, is the only Democrat running for any congressional seat thus far.
Richmond’s only challenger after one day of qualifying is Republican Josue Larose, of New Orleans.
Because district lines were redrawn to better match population shifts in Louisiana, the 2nd District will include parts of the Baton Rouge.
In the 6th District, which also covers much of the Baton Rouge area, Rep. Bill Cassidy, R-Baton Rouge, picked up one challenger thus far: Libertarian Rufus Holt Craig Jr., a Baton Rouge lawyer.
Craig previously ran unsuccessfully for Congress as a Democrat against former Rep. Richard Baker.
Elsewhere, in the 1st District, Rep. Steve Scalise, R-Jefferson, picked up two opponents in Republican Gary King, of New Orleans, and Ponchatoula resident Arden Wells, who is not affiliated with any political party.
Rep. John Fleming, R-Minden, has one challenger thus far in Libertarian and former chiropractor Randall Lord, of Shreveport.
Rep. Rodney Alexander, R-Quitman, is the only incumbent congressman unopposed thus far.
In 2013, the 5th District will include some communities in suburban Baton Rouge.
Mark Ballard, of the Advocate’s Capitol news bureau; Jordan Blum, of the Washington bureau; and staff writer Rebekah Allen contributed to this report.