It seems like everyday somebody is announcing their plans to run for office in 2020.  A lot of the announcements are by Democratic presidential hopefuls, but the announcements about statewide offices are also picking up.

Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Forest has announced he has formed an exploratory committee to run for governor.  Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper has announced a kick off campaign fundraiser in New York for his 2020 gubernatorial campaign.

The smart money says those two will be facing each other on Nov. 3, 2020 in the North Carolina governor’s race.

It seems early, to a lot of folks to have people announcing their candidacy for races in 2020, but in North Carolina to run in 2020 you have to file in 2019, so it’s not really as premature as some might think.

Back when the North Carolina primaries were held in May the filing deadline was in February, but in 2020 the primary will be held Tuesday, March 3, and the filing for county, state and national offices opens on Dec. 2, 2019 and closes on Dec. 20, 2019.

The March 3, 2020 primary makes it a whole different ball game and those folks waiting until 2020 to make up their minds on running will miss the deadline to file.  In fact if friends and family talk a candidate into running for school board or county commissioner over the Christmas holidays, it would be too late to file.  Something a number of potential candidates may find out the hard way.  But they can always run for Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisor the filing deadline for those offices is not until June and July.

Filing to run for office on Nov. 3, 2020 on December 2, 2019 almost 11 months early doesn’t seem to make sense, but for the numbers to work for the March primary that’s when filing has to start.

And the March primary has another effect, it makes that race in 2020 a long haul.  The candidates who win the primaries will then have nearly eight months to campaign before election day.  Those are going to be some expensive races and think about how tired everyone will be of the campaign commercials by the time Nov. 3, 2020 rolls around.