A few dozen Nebraska candidates got a jump start on 2018 by filing for office Friday, the first day to do so.
Many of the candidates had already made a formal announcement, and some have been campaigning for weeks or months.
But Dec. 1 is the first day candidates can file their official paperwork with the county election commission or the secretary of state.
Those who filed Friday are the first, but they certainly won’t be the last. Current officeholders have until Feb. 15 to file, and those who don’t hold elected office can file as late as March 1.
There are several statewide officials up for re-election in 2018, including Sen. Deb Fischer and Gov. Pete Ricketts, both Republicans who’ve said they plan to seek re-election.
Democrat Jane Raybould will challenge Fischer. State Sen. Bob Krist, an independent, plans to challenge Ricketts.
Nebraska’s 2nd District seat, held by Republican Rep. Don Bacon, is expected to be hotly contested.
One potential Bacon opponent, nonprofit executive Kara Eastman, filed Friday. She will face off with former Rep. Brad Ashford for the Democratic nomination.
Republican Kirk Penner filed to run for the 3rd District congressional seat. Incumbent Republican Adrian Smith is expected to seek re-election. Democrat Paul Theobald, a professor and rural historian, has said he plans to run for the seat as well.
Voters will also make decisions on a host of down ballot and local races in 2018. Statewide, that’s attorney general, auditor, treasurer and secretary of state.
Two candidates filed Friday for the Public Service Commission: Republican incumbent Tim Schram and Republican Ron Nolte, who is running for the District 1 seat held by Frank Landis, who has not said whether he will seek re-election.
The only legislative candidate who had not previously announced is Democrat Austin Hennrich in District 18. The seat is now held by State Sen. Brett Lindstrom, an Omaha Republican who has not announced whether he will seek re-election.