Early interest is building in some key local elected positions where longtime incumbents won't be running again. Voters will decide next year who their replacements will be, and several individuals already have expressed an interest.
It's not too early to be thinking about becoming a candidate. These days, there are rules for everything, and anyone contemplating a run for office should become familiar with those guidelines. Candidates for some state offices, for example, must comply with election laws and the Missouri Ethics Commission's rules covering campaign contributions and election advertising.
Candidates who organize campaign committees also must also make sure their supporters follow the rules.
Next spring, voters in Cape Girardeau will choose a new mayor. The city charter limits the mayor to two four-year terms. Another top official, Cape Girardeau County Presiding Commissioner Gerald Jones, has decided not to see re-election. State Rep. Scott Lipke of Jackson, who represents the 157th District in the Missouri House of Representatives, can't be re-elected because of term limits. And Associate Circuit Judge Peter Statler says he does not intend to seek another term.
All of these are important jobs. Voters, no doubt, will have several choices in most of these races.