Who will get a free ride to re-election at noon today?

U.S. Reps. Lois Frankel, D-West Palm Beach, and Alcee Hastings, D-Delray Beach, (Bruce R. Bennett/The Palm Beach Post)

As Florida’s candidate qualifying period for U.S. Senate, U.S. House and judicial offices nears today’s noon deadline, several sitting judges — and perhaps a member of Congress or two — are hoping to win re-election without opposition.

As of Thursday night, no candidate had submitted paperwork and paid the $10,440 filing fee to challenge U.S. Rep. Lois Frankel, D-West Palm Beach. Republican Derek Schwartz opened a campaign for Frankel’s District 21 seat in February, but hadn’t met the criteria to get on the ballot as of Thursday.

U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Delray Beach, has so far drawn only a write-in opponent.

In Tampa, two Democrats and a Republican opened campaigns for the seat of U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Tampa, but as of this morning she’s the only candidate to have  qualified for the ballot.

Incumbent judges rarely face challenges in Palm Beach County and, as of late Thursday, the six circuit judges up for re-election were unopposed.

At least two of Palm Beach County’s congressional districts will be busy.

Freshman U.S. Rep. Brian Mast, R-Palm City, has drawn two Republican primary challengers, Mark Freeman and Dave Cummings. Two Democrats — Lauren Baer and Pam Keith — have also filed for Mast’s Palm Beach-Treasure Coast District 18 seat.

U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Boca Raton, drew a Democratic primary challenge Thursday when Jay Fandl qualified for the ballot in Palm Beach-Broward District 22. Hillary Clinton won District 22 by 16 points in 2016, but that hasn’t deterred four Republicans — Nicolas Kimaz, Javier Manjarres, Paul Spain and Eddison Walters — from qualifying to run there.

While Florida’s qualifying period for federal candidates ends at noon today, candidates for state and local offices have a June 18-22 qualifying period.

 

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