With just five days passing since filing opened for county and state political offices, races are quickly forming for offices up and down the ticket.
With the filing period open until March 27, more candidates will likely throw their hats in the ring.
Early on, there is already quite a crowded field of candidates for voters to choose from in both the Aug. 7 primary and later in the Nov. 6, general elections.
At the federal level, eight Republicans, including Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley, have filed to challenge incumbent Democrat Claire McCaskill for her U.S. Senate seat.
The other Republican candidates thus far are Tony Monetti, Austin Petersen, Fred Ryman, Christina Smith, Kristi Nichols, Bradley Krembs and Ken Patterson, who lives in Eureka.
The only other statewide office up for grabs this election year is that of state auditor.
Local State Rep. Paul Curtman, R-Washington, is running for auditor against two other Republicans, Kevin M. Roach, Chesterfield, and David Wasinger, St. Louis.
The three GOP candidates will square off in the August primary. The only Democrat to file to date is incumbent Auditor Nicole Galloway, Columbia.
Galloway is the only Democrat serving in a statewide Missouri office and the only female as well.
Regionally, incumbent U.S. Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer is again running for re-election in District 3. As of now, he will face Chadwick Bicknell, Arnold, in the primary.
St. Albans resident John Kiehne and Katy Geppert, St. Louis, will square off on the Democratic ticket and Donald V. Stole, Arnold, has filed as a Libertarian.
Republican State Sen. Dave Schatz, Sullivan, has filed for re-election. On the Democratic side, Pacific Alderman Nick Chlebowski has filed for the 26th District.
Incumbent Republican State Rep. Justin Alferman, Hermann, has filed for reelection. Democrat Pamela Menefee, Washington, also has filed in the 61st District.
Republican State Rep. Nate Tate, St. Clair, will seek his second term. Sullivan resident Marcie Nichols has filed on the Democratic side of the ticket in the 119th District.
An unexpected announcement Thursday by incumbent State Rep. Kirk Mathews that he will not seek a third term may open the floodgates for potential candidates to fill the 110th District seat in Jefferson City.
Thus far, only Democrat Cody Kelley, Pacific, has filed but there will most likely be more coming.
Three Republicans, John Simmons, Washington, Bob Oreskevic, Union, and Kevin Juergens, Washington, have filed for the 109th District seat held by Paul Curtman for the past eight years. Democrat James Cordrey, Union, also has filed to fill the seat vacated by Curtman due to term limits.
Closer to home, numerous county offices are open for election this year with Republican incumbents and newcomers vying for the top elected spots.
The office of presiding commissioner held by retiring John Griesheimer for the past eight years is being sought by Washington School Board member Trish Mitchell and current First District Commissioner Tim Brinker. The pair will face off in the August primary.
Longtime County Clerk Debbie Door is retiring at the end of the year, leaving a rare vacancy.
Thus far, Republicans Kyle Dubbert, Villa Ridge, and Tim Baker, Robertsville, have filed to replace Door.
Also heading into retirement in 2019 is long-serving Prosecuting Attorney Robert Parks.
Republicans Samantha “Sam” Cerutti Wacker and Matthew Becker, both of Washington, have filed to fill the seat held by Parks for more than two decades.
As of Friday, incumbent county Collector of Revenue Linda Emmons has yet to file for re-election, but her Chief Deputy Doug Trentmann has already entered his name for consideration. He will face St. Clair businesswoman Jamie (Rice) Keen in the Republican primary.
After the ascension of Craig Hellmann to circuit judge last fall, county residents will again elect a new municipal judge in November.
Thus far, interim municipal judge A. David Arand and former 20th Judicial Circuit Presiding Judge Gael Wood have filed on the Republican ticket and Bill Stahlhuth, Labadie, has filed on the Democratic ticket.
In addition to the races with more than one candidate, several other county incumbents have filed for re-election, including Clerk of the Circuit Court, Bill D. Miller; Recorder of Deeds, Jennifer L. Metcalf; and County Auditor, Tammy (Zweifel) Vemmer, all Republicans.
Joseph W. Purschke has filed as a Republican candidate for associate circuit judge, Division 5.
Incumbent Democratic Associate Circuit judges David Hoven, Division VI, and Stan Williams, Division VII, are running for re-election.