With a little more than a week remaining to file a declaration of candidacy for the 2010 Primary Election, numerous suitors are crowding the federal and state races.
Clay County voters have the opportunity to cast their ballots for the following positions:
* United States Representative, District 8,
* State Senator, District 39, and
* State Representative, Districts 43, 44 and 46.
New blood is assured for District 46 State Representative after Democrat Vern Tincher announced Monday he would not be running for re-election. Tincher had held the seat for 24 of the past 28 years.
As of 3 p.m., Tuesday, only Republican Bob Heaton had officially thrown his hat into the ring by filing his declaration of candidacy at the statehouse Jan. 21.
Heaton, a Republican and former Clay County resident, lost to Tincher in 2008.
Also currently running unopposed in the Primary is Democrat Clyde Kersey, who is the incumbent District 43 State Representative.
However, the room is most crowded in the race for District 8 United States Representative.
As of 3 p.m., Tuesday, incumbent Brad Ellsworth is running alone on the Democratic Party ticket, while four are vying on the Republican side with hopes to face him on the Nov. 2 General Election ballot.
Larry D. Buchson, Billy J. Mahoney, Kristi Risk and Dan Stockton have all filed the necessary paperwork to appear on the Primary Election ballot on May 4, while Ellsworth is seeking his third term in Congress.
Other incumbents also looking to retain their positions are District 39 State Senator John Waterman and District 44 State Representative Nancy Michael.
In the state senator race, Ron Boger has filed his declaration of candidacy to run on the Republican ticket against Waterman -- who has served as State Senator for District 39 since initially elected in 1994 -- in the primary, while Steven M. Thais is currently alone on the Democratic Party ticket.
On the state representative side, Michael (Democrat) -- who is seeking her second term -- and James (Jim) Baird (Republican) are currently the lone candidates for their respective political parties.
Should this remain through the last day to file a declaration of candidacy (Feb. 19) and last day to withdraw from candidacy (Feb. 22), both would appear on the General Election ballot.
Residents have until Monday, April 5, to register to vote in the primary, which is also the same day early voting begins.
Early voting runs from April 5-May 3, with voting available from 8-11 a.m., and noon-4 p.m., Monday-Friday, during that time period. Early voting will be available on two Saturdays (April 24 and May 1), from 9 a.m.-4 p.m., in the Clay County Election Office, located on the second floor of the Clay County Courthouse.