By David Lieb
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — A smaller than usual number of candidates signed up Tuesday for the August primary elections as Missouri’s 2014 campaign season officially got under way.
The apparent lack of interest may be due to a general lack of opportunity. Missouri has just one statewide office up for election this year. And the number of state legislative seats being forced open by term limits is down significantly from four years ago, when Missouri set a record for the number of candidates filing for office on opening day.
Missouri’s candidacy filing period runs from Tuesday through March 25. But the first day has historically been the busiest, partly because of tradition and partly because first-day filers get to participate in a lottery draw to determine who is listed first on the ballot for each office.
This year, a total of 287 candidates filed paperwork on the opening day of candidacy filing. That’s the lowest number since 274 filed on the first day possible in 1998 and slightly fewer than the 292 who filed on opening day in 1996, when Missouri first instituted the lottery draw as a way to discourage overnight campouts at the secretary of state’s office.
Source: Associated Press