Qualifying dates create problems

by Jeremy Alford, LaPolitics

For folks who make a living off of politics, the tight timeframe between qualifying and the election is driving them crazy.

There are only 44 days between the close of qualifying on Sept. 10 and the primary election on Oct. 24. That’s a little over six weeks to run a professional campaign knowing the full field of candidates.

For folks who make a living off of politics, that timeframe is driving them crazy. Campaign managers are sitting on direct mail pieces, waiting to find out who they will attack. Political action committees are sitting on checks, holding out to see if they have the right horse — and the right amount. Special interests have paused their endorsement processes.

All because Louisiana has a late election cycle and an equally late qualifying period.

However, there is good news. Act 410 by Rep. Chris Broadwater, R-Hammond, goes into effect on Jan. 1 and will create more wiggle room for candidates and their campaigns.

So in 2019, this same slate of elections will be moved up, from the second to last Saturday in October to the third to last. Qualifying will also move up one month, from September to August, beginning on the first Tuesday following the first Monday of the month.

For next year’s congressional races, qualifying will be in July, rather than in August, on the third Wednesday of the month.