QUALIFYING FOR ELECTIONS BEGINS THIS MONTH
School Board Candidates To Declare Political Affiliation
Candidates will begin picking up their qualifying petitions for several county and district offices this month. Qualifying for certain offices begins Monday, December 20 (2021) and continues until noon, February 17 (2022). This year’s qualifying deadline is much earlier than in previous years because there will be Democratic and Republican primary elections on May 3, 2022 for first time in (at least) the county’s modern history.
Also new to the election process—because of the Democratic and Republican primary election in May—candidates will have to decide to run as a Democrat, a Republican or an Independent when they pick up their petition at the county election office. In the past elections, when the candidate picked up a petition for county offices, the petition was issued for an Independent candidate. The candidate did not have to choose a party affiliation.
In previous years, all candidates ran as Independents in August. When there was only one election in August, the candidate qualifying deadline was much later in years past. Candidates cannot pick up a petition and decide on their party affiliation at a later date, according to election regulations.
Meanwhile, since the Democratic and Republican parties requested primary elections earlier this year, candidates—particularly current office holders, who in previous years, have always run as an Independent candidate and did not have to declare party affiliation—have been grappling with the decision as to whether to run as a Democrat, a Republican or continue to run as an Independent candidate. Running as a Democratic candidate could alienate a certain number of Republican and Independent voters. Running as a Republican candidate could alienate a certain number of Democratic and Independent voters. Running as an Independent candidate could alienate a certain number of voters from both parties.
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