By MELINDA DESLATTE
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Republican state senator Neil Riser was the first candidate to sign up for the open 5th District congressional seat representing northeast and central Louisiana.
The 3-day qualifying period began Monday morning at the Louisiana Secretary of State's Office and runs through Wednesday.
At least three other state lawmakers have said they intend to run: Republican Rep. Jay Morris and two Democrats, Reps. Marcus Hunter and Robert Johnson. Also announced as a candidate is Monroe Mayor Jamie Mayo, a Democrat.
Congressman Rodney Alexander is resigning from the seat in September to become veterans secretary for Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration.
The 5th District covers all or part of 24 parishes across northeast Louisiana, through much of central Louisiana and including all the areas that run along the Mississippi state line.