Last Modified: Tuesday, August 14, 2012 8:28 PM
BATON ROUGE (AP) — It's decision-time for anyone still on the fence about jumping into a race for Louisiana's Nov. 6 election.
Candidates must file paperwork and pay their fees this week if they want to run for the list of state and local offices on the fall ballot, as the official qualifying period starts Wednesday morning and runs through Friday at 5 p.m.
After the presidential race, top of the ballot around the state will be Louisiana's six U.S. House seats.
The most heated congressional battle is expected between two Republican incumbents — Charles Boustany of Lafayette and Jeff Landry of New Iberia — who were forced into the same southwest Louisiana district when the state lost a U.S. House seat because of population adjustments.
Most of the state's seven congressmen were planning to sign up for their re-election bids on the opening day of qualifying.
All but one of Louisiana's U.S. House districts are held by the GOP, and questions lingered about whether Democrats will field challengers against any Republican incumbents.
No big-name Democratic contenders have been announced in any of the six congressional districts, and it also was unclear if Republicans would have a candidate in the New Orleans-based district represented by Democrat Cedric Richmond.
Two positions on the seven-member Louisiana Supreme Court are up for election. Attention is centered on a seat in the eight-parish Baton Rouge area that is vacant because Chief Justice Catherine "Kitty" Kimball is retiring. Several judges are vying for the position.
Also in the region is an open seat on the state's utility regulatory agency, the Public Service Commission, representing south central Louisiana.
Gov. Bobby Jindal's former natural resources secretary, Scott Angelle, resigned from his cabinet job last week to jump into the PSC race. He's one of at least three Republicans who have announced their candidacies.
State Rep. Erich Ponti, a Baton Rouge contractor, and Ed Roy, a private investigator and former TV and radio weatherman, also are seeking the seat left vacant by retiring commissioner Jimmy Field.
The district covers all or part of 14 parishes from East and West Feliciana parishes at the Mississippi state line, down to Lafourche and Terrebonne parishes.
State candidates must qualify for their races at Secretary of State Tom Schedler's office in Baton Rouge. Fees range from $675 for PSC and Supreme Court races to $900 for congressional candidates.
Local and municipal candidates sign up for their elections at their parish clerk of court's office.
Runoff elections, if needed, will be held Dec. 8.