Barring an unforeseen development, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer will have no serious Democratic primary or Republican challenger in the 2014 election.
The filing deadline for the primary elections closed this afternoon. It won’t be known for sure who’s in the race until the official rosters are released on Wednesday afternoon; as of Tuesday’s last update, no candidates besides Fischer had filed to run for Louisville mayor.
One prospective candidate contacted the Jefferson County Republican Party on Tuesday about possibly running but, by the end of the conversation, appeared disinclined to enter the race, chairman Nathan Haney said.
Haney said Tuesday afternoon that he’s not anticipating a Republican to enter the race, at least not one who does so in consultation with the county party.
“Obviously, we’d love to have a mayoral candidate, but at the same time it’s going to be hard to compete for the dollars that it’s going to take in order to defeat an incumbent Democrat who has fairly good approval ratings,” Haney said.
He estimated that a candidate would need $3 million to run an effective race against Fischer. He added that raising that type of money with federal elections and a Republican push for the state legislature would be difficult.
Fischer’s campaign raised more than $1 million, according to a November filing with the state Registry of Election Finance.
That said, Haney said he wouldn’t be surprised if someone filed paperwork on Tuesday to run just so that Fischer isn’t unopposed, or if an independent candidate entered the race later this year.
Fischer, too, notes that even if no one files as a Democrat or Republican, he may still get an independent challenger for this year’s election.
“If I don’t have an active campaign, you don’t have to spend as much time fundraising, have the various campaign rallies and things like that,” Fischer told WFPL on Tuesday.
“I mean, the people want me to do my job here, which is to grow jobs and grow opportunities and that’s what we’re going to continue to do. So being able to focus on that exclusively would be a real blessing. But, you know, this is a democratic process—if people want to get in and run for the mayor, I understand that. But it’s not going to affect the way that we govern or how we spend our time.”
WFPL will explore this further later this week.
Update: WHAS 11′s Joe Arnold reports that Robert DeVore filed to enter the Republican primary to run against Fischer.