ROANOKE, Va. -

Onzlee's Ware's decision to leave the General Assembly has set off a scramble to replace him.

At least five Democrats say they're interested in running for his seat in the House of Delegates. And a Republican is now kicking off a campaign as well.
 
Court Rosen got a jump on the competition, recycling some of his city council signs.  Sam Rasoul is now up on the internet, with a campaign web site. And other Democrats are expressing serious interest as well, with a field of potential candidates that includes Jeff Artis, David Trinkle,  Keith Wheaton and Patricia White-Boyd.

Roanoke Senator John Edwards says he is pleased with the interest in the seat. "We have a wealth of terrific candidates," Edwards said in an interview Friday afternoon. "I'm glad to see so many people expressing an interest.  It's a very important position, and I'm delighted to see such healthy competition."

And though the 11th House District is traditionally a Democratic stronghold, Republicans aren't sitting this one out. Sheriff Octavia Johnson has now announced her campaign.

Salem Delegate Greg Habeeb says he has heard from four or five Republicans who are interested in running. "Obviously the one that everyone's talking about is Sheriff Octavia Johnson," Habeeb told WDBJ7. "She has a proven record of winning in the city of Roanoke. She wins in a lot of areas where Republicans otherwise might not get a lot of votes, so we'll see how the process runs if she ends up being our nominee."

There are no decisions yet on the nominating process, or the general election.

We can expect a campaign compressed into a matter of weeks, a firehouse primary for the Democrats, and a general election that could come on the day before the General Assembly convenes in January.