2006 Qualifying: Leon County

Even before the clock struck noon, candidates vying for one of the 20 seats up for grabs in Leon County lined up to make their run official.

Janet Olin, Assistant Supervisor of Elections for Leon County, said, "Qualifying is affectionately known in my world as, ‘put up or shut up.’"

This week's qualifying does not include the three county judge seats up for election. Qualifying for those races ended in May. The 2006 race in Leon County is packed. The County Commission has five seats up this year: District One, Three, Four, Five and an At-Large. The City Commission has two: Seats Three and Five.

The race for Mayor is also on. So far, Mayor John Marks is running unopposed, and for Leon County Schools the race is open for Superintendent and three School Board seats: One, Three and Five.

Other races include seats on the Ochlockonee River and Soil Conservation, Capital Regional Community Development and the Piney Z community. As the official candidate list grows, Leon County Supervisor of Elections Ion Sancho is pushing preparedness among the county's 150,000 voters.

Ion Sancho, Leon County Supervisor of Elections, said, "This year, for example, the Florida Legislature, as they did in Georgia, have instituted more restrictions on voters and that means showing a picture ID at the polls and if you vote by mail, you don't have to show a picture ID."

To get a mail ballot, Sancho says give his office a call.

Candidates hoping to make a run for a seat this fall will have to get their paperwork turned in by noon on Friday, when qualifying closes.