Candidates will begin signing up on Wednesday for spring elections across the metro area, including what is expected to be a hot race for Jefferson Parish Sheriff.

Qualifying begins Wednesday and ends Friday afternoon at 4:30 p.m. at parish Clerk of Court offices across the state. The primary election is March 24, with any runoffs needed on April 28.

The Jefferson Parish Sheriff's race will draw at least two major candidates: interim sheriff Joseph Lopinto and former Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Col. John Fortunato. Former Sheriff Newell Normand tapped Lopinto, a former state representative and Normand's former chief deputy, as his interim replacement in July 2017 when Normand announced he was stepping down to take a position as WWL Radio talk show host. Fortunato, a 46-year veteran of the JPSO and its longtime spokesman, retired from the agency in September and launched his campaign for sheriff a month later.

Voters in Slidell will elect a new mayor, with Mayor Freddy Drennan term-limited and unable to seek re-election. There will also be elections in Slidell for City Council and Chief of Police. Kenner voters will also elect City Council members, Chief of Police and mayor, with mayor Ben Zahn seeking a full-term in office. He was elected in 2016 to fill the remaining term of Mike Yenni, when he was elected Jefferson Parish President.

Candidates will also sign up for a Jefferson Parish School Board seat, to fill the vacancy created by the death of longtime West Bank board member Ray St. Pierre.

There are two local House of Representative races on the ballot. Voters in Tangipahoa Parish will elect a replacement for Dist. 86 Rep. Chris Broadwater, who said he is resigning to spend more time with his family. New Orleans voters will elect a new representative for House Dist. 93. The current representative, Helena Moreno, was elected to the New Orleans City Council last fall.

There are two judgeships on the ballot in Orleans Parish. One is for the Div. A seat on the Orleans Parish Civil Court bench, to replace Judge Tiffany Chase, who was elected to the 4th Circuit Court of Appeal. There will be an election for a seat on the appeals court bench to replace Judge Madeleine Landrieu, a sister of Mayor Mitch Landrieu, who stepped down last year to become the dean of the Loyola University law school.

Voters in Lafourche Parish will also elect a new district attorney, following the retirement of incumbent Cam Morvant II.

For more information on candidate qualifying, click here for the Secretary of State's office.