While there's only talk about who will run for president, 31 of Florida's 40 senators and all but a dozen of the 120 representatives have already filed for re-election.
After redistricting in 2012, senators in all even-numbered districts were elected for two-year terms, said Sen. Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton, who represents southern Highlands County.
"Since I am District 26, I will be up again in 2014," Galvano said.
And even though Sen. Denise Grimsley, R-Sebring, was elected for four years in District 21, she filed for 2016 re-election on Feb. 13 and opened up a re-election account. So have 11 of the 20 incumbent senators whose terms will expire in 2016. Challengers have already filed in four more districts.
State representatives are elected for two-year terms. In the past, incumbents waited until at least a year before filing for re-election. Not anymore. Filing early paperwork allows candidates, at least in part, to open checking accounts, hold fundraisers, spend money and — most importantly — to ward off challengers.
"I have filled 20 months ahead of the election in part to raise money, but more to clearly send a signal to all that I intend to represent the interests of people of the 55th district over the long term," said State Rep. Cary Pigman, R-Avon Park.