Qualifying began Monday and runs through the end of the week for candidates looking to run in November’s midterm elections.
This year Georgians will pick a new Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General and Secretary of State, among others. Every seat in the state legislature is also up for grabs.
Qualifying to run for office in Georgia means filing paperwork, paying a fee ranging from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars, and meeting age and residency requirements.
For some offices, there are additional requirements. To run for Commissioner of Agriculture, for example, you have to be a farmer.
Kennesaw State University political scientist Kerwin Swint said it’s not hard to find candidates who can check all the boxes. What’s difficult is finding candidates who can do that and have a shot at winning.
“Part of the struggle is finding good people with experience that have the ability to put the time in and raise some money to be competitive,” he explained.
Swint said that could be hard for Democrats this year. Georgia’s solid Republican majorities could discourage potential challengers.
Still, he said, the party that’s not in the White House tends to do well in midterms. Either way, qualifying is a good opportunity to assess a political party’s strength.
“In a elections like 2018, most of the energy is on the side of the out party: in this case the Democrats. Midterm elections normally are tough times for the party that controls the White House,” Swint said.
Qualifying ends Friday at noon.