- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 20, 2016

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - The Latest on the elections sign-up period (all times local):

4:40 p.m.

The first day of the candidate registration period for the Nov. 8 has closed with 15 candidates already signed up for Louisiana’s U.S. Senate competition.

The seat is open because Republican incumbent David Vitter isn’t running for re-election.

Among the GOP candidates who qualified Wednesday were U.S. Rep. Charles Boustany, former U.S. Rep. Joseph Cao (GOW), U.S. Rep. John Fleming, state Treasurer John Kennedy. Democrats include New Orleans lawyer Caroline Fayard and Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell.

Louisiana’s four other congressmen signed up to run for re-election to their seats: Republican U.S. Reps. Steve Scalise, Ralph Abraham and Garret Graves and Democratic U.S. Rep. Cedric Richmond. All but Abraham have drawn opponents.

With Boustany and Fleming exiting their seats, a number of candidates have qualified to run in both races.

Qualifying continues through Friday.

___

4 p.m.

At least 14 candidates are officially running for Louisiana’s open U.S. Senate seat.

That’s how many contenders signed up for the Nov. 8 election on Wednesday, the first day of qualifying for the congressional races.

The list includes five Republicans, four Democrats, two Libertarians and three without a party affiliation.

Among the GOP candidates are U.S. Rep. Charles Boustany, former U.S. Rep. Joseph Cao (GOW), U.S. Rep. John Fleming, state Treasurer John Kennedy, and New Orleans economic development official Abhay Patel.

Democrats include New Orleans lawyer Caroline Fayard and Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell.

Former Alcohol and Tobacco Control Commissioner Troy Hebert has registered for the race as an independent, without party affiliation.

The Senate seat is open because Republican David Vitter isn’t running for re-election.

Qualifying continues until Friday evening.

___

3:45 p.m.

All of Louisiana’s incumbent congressmen have signed up for the November election, though two are seeking a promotion to the U.S. Senate rather than re-election.

Republican U.S. Reps. Steve Scalise, Ralph Abraham and Garret Graves qualified for re-election Wednesday, along with Democratic U.S. Rep. Cedric Richmond. All but Abraham have drawn opponents so far.

The state’s remaining two GOP congressmen, Charles Boustany of the 3rd District and John Fleming of the 4th District, aren’t running for re-election, but signed up to seek an open U.S. Senate seat instead.

With Boustany and Fleming exiting their seats, a number of candidates have qualified to run in both of those races.

Candidates have until Friday to register for the Nov. 8 ballot.

___

3:30 p.m.

U.S. Rep. Cedric Richmond says if the mayor of Baton Rouge wants to run for Congress against him, he should resign.

Richmond says Baton Rouge needs full-time leadership from Kip Holden in the aftermath of the shooting deaths of three law enforcement officers and an ongoing investigation into the shooting death of a black man by white officers.

Holden signed up Wednesday to challenge Richmond in the 2nd District race, shortly before Richmond qualified for his re-election bid. Both men are Democrats. The district includes most of New Orleans and stretches up the Mississippi River to include parts of Baton Rouge.

Richmond’s response to Holden’s candidacy was: “Welcome to the race, but resign. Be a full-time candidate, but let the people of the city have a full-time mayor.”

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2:15 p.m.

The mayor of Baton Rouge, whose city is embroiled in the aftermath of shootings and protests, has signed up to run for a congressional seat.

Kip Holden, a Democrat who is term-limited as mayor, qualified Wednesday for the 2nd District race, challenging Democratic incumbent Cedric Richmond. The district is Louisiana’s only majority black district, representing New Orleans up the Mississippi River to part of Baton Rouge.

Holden didn’t speak much about his congressional campaign plans, saying his focus remains squarely on leading Baton Rouge, where three local law enforcement officers were shot and killed this week and three others were wounded by a black man who appeared to target police.

The shootings came fewer than two weeks after a black man was shot and killed by white police officers, setting off a string of protests around the city.

___

12:30 p.m.

Most of Louisiana’s incumbent congressmen who intend to run for re-election have signed up for their races.

U.S. Reps. Steve Scalise, Ralph Abraham and Garret Graves qualified for the Nov. 8 ballot Wednesday. All three men are Republicans.

Scalise, the third-ranking member of the House, registered to run again for his 1st District seat representing southeast Louisiana. Abraham, a doctor from Rayville, is seeking to hold onto his 5th District seat representing northeast and central Louisiana. Graves, the state’s former coastal chief, signed up for the race for the 6th District seat he holds representing the Baton Rouge area.

Two of the state’s GOP congressmen, Charles Boustany of the 3rd District and John Fleming of the 4th District, aren’t running for re-election, but are running for an open U.S. Senate seat.

Candidates have until Friday to register for the November ballot.

___

9:45 a.m.

A half-dozen candidates for Louisiana’s U.S. Senate seat had officially signed up for the race by midmorning on the first day of qualifying.

Those contenders who arrived in the opening hours of the three-day sign-up period Wednesday included New Orleans lawyer Caroline Fayard, a Democrat; Republican U.S. Rep. John Fleming; Troy Hebert, a former state senator with no party affiliation; and Abhay Patel, a Republican businessman.

Many more are expected to sign up for the seat that is open because Republican David Vitter isn’t running for re-election.

Qualifying for re-election was U.S. Rep. Ralph Abraham, a Republican who represents northeast and central Louisiana.

Candidates for the Nov. 8 election have until Friday to register for the ballot.

___

6 a.m.

The signup period for Louisiana’s congressional elections is starting.

Many of the major candidates for U.S. Senate are expected to be among the first in line Wednesday morning at the Secretary of State’s Office to qualify for their race.

Candidates for the Nov. 8 election have until Friday to register their candidacies.

Besides the presidential race, Louisiana will be choosing someone to fill a Senate seat that is open because Republican David Vitter isn’t running for re-election. At least 11 contenders have indicated they intend to run.

All six of Louisiana’s U.S. House seats also will be on the ballot.

Because two congressmen, Republicans Charles Boustany and John Fleming, are leaving their House seats to run for Senate, a long list of candidates are expected to qualify in those races.


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