On Monday, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch ran a story on how fewer candidates have filed at this time than in previous non-presidential election years. There was lots of handwringing in the article about the difficulty of running for office, and how only wealthy people or people with part connections who can help raise money are able to run for office, and the reporter cited higher numbers filing in 2006 and 2002 as evidence that more people are shying away from seeking office. Apparently Steve Tilley also thinks that people are very happy with the state government and so decline to run for office themselves.

The article was premature to say the least. As of this writing, there’s now 540 542 filed candidates for office in Missouri, only 8 less than in 2006. And we’re sure to see some last-minute filings yet today – last night I ran into someone who planned on making the drive to Jefferson City this morning to file to represent my district.

I can sympathize with the concerns about money and nepotism (like wives running to replace their termed-out husbands) but what worries me more is the fact that you have races like the Democratic primary for US Senate, where Carnahan has two primary challengers, and yet Blaine Luetkemeyer faces no opposition after the primary, when clearly one of Carnahan’s primary challengers lives in Luetkemeyer’s district! If he’s going to run a longshot candidacy, you would hope he would at least try one that serves to build the party and oppose someone further from his own views.

Of course, perhaps I’m writing this post too early, and we’ll see some more slots filled in those uncontested races later on today.

UPDATE: The count is now 560, 12 more than 4 years ago. Take that, Virginia Young!

…And speaking of uncontested races, not only does my district have a Republican challenger, it has a Republican primary. Wonders never cease.