In what could be a record number of candidates to line up for the 15th District, 20 people have formally filed to run for the open Harbor-to-Watts seat on the Los Angeles City Council.
The seat was left open when Janice Hahn won a bid for Congress in July.
Filing closed at noon Saturday, leaving declared candidates with the next task of collecting the required voter signatures on nominating petitions.
Candidates can either pay a $300 filing fee and gather 500 signatures or waive the fee and turn in 1,000 signatures.
Petitions are due Sept. 12 and signatures must then be verified in order for candidates to finally qualify for the Nov. 8 special election ballot.
Petition signatures must be from registered voters who live in the 15th District, which takes in San Pedro, Wilmington, Harbor City, Harbor Gateway and part of Watts.
Voters can sign petitions for more than one candidate.
With so many running for the open seat, the campaign ahead will almost certainly require a Jan. 18 runoff.
Those running include high profile names as well as newcomers.
As of the close of Saturday's filing period, the declared candidates are: Justin I. Brimmer, Joe Buscaino, Rebecca Chambliss, Mark Contreras, John Delgado Jr., Robert Farrell, Warren Furutani, M. "Candice" Graham, James T. Law, John Mavar, Pat McOsker, Kambiz "Mostofi" Mostofizadeh, Frank Pereyda, Emery D. Soos, DeWayne Merrill Stark, Rudy Svorinich Jr., Walter L. Tayes, Gordon Teuber, Timothy "Dream" Weaver and Jayme Wilson.
By Saturday, only Buscaino had filed his petition with the county.
Several of the candidates opened campaign headquarters last week and have begun sending out campaign mailers and automated telephone calls.
McOsker is the first candidate to report independent expenditures in the race - a total of $44,865 spent (on "research," "polling" and "literature") by Working Californians to Support McOsker for City Council 2011.
He also is among three candidates - the other two being Furutani and Buscaino - who have raised an initial $50,000 for the race.
Two candidates - Soos and Wilson - have declined to accept matching funds.
Those who participate in the city's matching fund program are limited to spending $25,000 of their own money. They also are limited to an overall spending cap of $330,000 for the primary.