Eric Clark’s surprise announcement earlier this year that he wouldn’t seek a fourth term as secretary of state set off a seven-candidate scramble for the open statewide post.
Both parties have competitive primaries Aug. 7, with four Republicans and three Democrats running. The two party nominees will meet in the Nov. 6 general election.
A chief focus of the secretary of state’s office is overseeing elections, and the major Republican candidates all consider a long-debated law requiring voter identification at the polls to be a top priority. A federal judge recently ordered the Legislature to set up a system of voter identification to go along with party registration for primaries.