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Monday, April 26, 2010 - 4:08am

Election Qualifying Underway

Candidates for hundreds of state offices on Monday began the political ritual of qualifying to get their names on the ballot.

U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson held a state Capitol rally with supporters after filing the paperwork to seek a second term. DuBose and Carol Porter - the husband and wife Democratic duo running for governor and lieutenant governor - also qualified.

So did, Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and House Speaker David Ralston, both Republicans.

Democratic U.S. Reps. John Lewis, Hank Johnson, David Scott, Sanford Bishop, Jim Marshall and John Barrow have filed the paperwork to seek another term. Republican U.S. Reps. Tom Price, Phil Gingrey and Jack Kingston also qualified to run again.

This year all State representatives and senators have to run for office. Usually the General Assembly session is over by the time qualifying comes around, but this year is different.

Due to a shrinking state budget, the battles over funding have been so tough that the session has been drawn out into this week.

Lawmakers will be meeting Tuesday and Thursday in their chambers. On those days candidates who come to qualify with their respective parties will need to go to alternate locations in the Capitol.

Everyone will be qualifying for the July 20th primary elections.