Sunday, February 28, 2010

Filing Questions

Filing Questions

Filing for federal and state offices starts Monday and I'm planning my usual obsessive coverage. It's kinda late to get started on the statewide level, but the bar is pretty low for the legislature (100 signatures for Senate and 50 for House). So last minute surprises and self-starters are possible down-ballot.

While we wait, here's some things to look for:

  • Does everybody who announced actually qualify? Several campaigns of both parties have sent out email directives to supporters to get busy on the petition signatures. That could just be list-building, or it could be panic.

    Statewide and congressional requirements are based on percentage of the vote from 2008. The record turnout raises that bar, and Obama's relatively big win raises it even higher for Dems, who need 4145 signatures for senate and governor. Republicans need 3412. There are county requirements as well. The bar is a lot lower for independents and third parties, who file in July and August: 1500 signatures. (Something that could affect anyone considering a run for governor first as a Democrat, then later as an independent.)

    Combine that with the extreme low turnout at the off-year, nearly invisible caucuses, which in presidential years are a quick and dirty way to get signatures, and some folks may be hustling up to the last second.

  • Not directly related, but: do any of the three surviving GOP governor candidates name a running mate? My guess is if anyone does, it's Branstad. He's getting bashed over 1990/94 running mate Joy Corning's stance on social issues, and he may counter that by naming someone who hates teh gay and luuuuvs teh fetus.

  • Pet peeve: does anyone file and then, a month or two later when the ballots with their names on them are already printed, "announce" (sic) their candidacy? In and amongst the latest Culver staff shakeup article, I see: "Vilmain has committed to staying with the campaign through the formal campaign announcement, expected in April or May." Come on, Chet, you were secretary of state for eight years. When you file, you're a candidate.

  • Do Democrats find an opponent for state auditor Dave Vaudt? We didn't last time. (The bar for the downballot statewides is lower: 1000 names for both parties.) Republicans look like they have a full slate and even a secretary of state primary.

  • Does anyone get the message that Coach Gibbons is the chosen one and bail in the five-way 3rd CD Republican primary?

  • Does Leonard Boswell retire? (No, but I like to keep stirring that pot anyway.)

  • Does anyone primary the Six Pack?

  • Does Kerry Burt get the hint? If not, does anyone primary him?

  • Getting local now: Do Democrats find an opponent for Jeff Kaufmann?

  • Do Republicans even try in the core Johnson County legislative districts? (Last Republican candidates in a general election in the Iowa City/Coralville seats was in 2002, though they did run in the 2003 Dave Jacoby special election.) My bet is they stay focused on the Board of Supervisors.

    Speaking of which, the county filing period starts a week later on March 8. Stay tuned for my look at that one.
  • 1 comment:

    desmoinesdem said...

    Looking forward to your coverage on this stuff!

    I have not heard of any Democratic primary challengers to Burt or the six-pack, unfortunately.

    I also have not heard of any Democrat planning to run against Vaudt. It's a mistake to give him a free pass.

    I am curious to see which announced candidates for statewide offices fail to collect enough signatures to qualify.