HANNIBAL, Mo. -- Term limits will create a busy election cycle in Missouri during 2018.
Several lawmakers and political hopefuls from Northeast Missouri already have announced they are candidates, more than three months before the filing period begins.
State Sen. Brian Munzlinger will complete his second four-year term in the Missouri Senate in January 2019. He cannot seek re-election to that office, setting the stage for a crowded ballot in the 18th Senate District.
Four Republicans, three of whom are now serving in the Missouri House, have announced plans to run for the Senate. State Rep. Nate Walker of Kirksville, Rep. Craig Redmon of Canton, Rep. Lindell Shumake of Hannibal and Shelbina businesswoman Cindy O'Laughlin have started raising campaign funds for the race.
The 18th Senate District includes the counties of Adair, Chariton, Clark, Knox, Lewis, Linn, Macon, Marion, Pike, Ralls, Randolph, Schuyler, Scotland and Shelby.
Gregory Sharpe of Ewing has announced that he will run for the 4th District House seat that Redmon held for eight years. Sharpe is a member of the Lewis County Republican Committee.
District 4 covers Lewis, Clark, Knox, Scotland and Schuyler counties, along with a portion of Adair County.
Three Republicans also have come forward to replace Shumake in the 5th District. Louis Riggs is an instructor at Hannibal-LaGrange University, Loren Graham is mayor of Palmyra, and Neal Minor is mayor of Monroe City.
District 5 covers all of Marion and Shelby counties and the northern portion of Monroe County.
Rep. Jim Hansen, R-Frankford, is not certain whether he'll run for re-election. He's completing his third two-year term and could serve one more before term limits take effect.
Candidates will file campaign petitions between Feb. 27 and March 27. The primary election will be Aug. 7, with the general election Nov. 6.