Qualifying for the Feb. 6 primary elections finally opens this week (Dec. 9-11), ending months of speculation — and some intriguing denials — about the political aspirations of potential candidates. For example, former City Councilman-at-Large Eddie Sapir said last week he and his advisers are still eyeing the growing field of mayoral candidates — but he was not quite ready to disclose his own intentions. Former Civil Court Judge Nadine Ramsey and education reformer Leslie Jacobs entered the race since the Sapir camp conducted its last poll, the former councilman said, adding, "And Mitch [Landrieu] still supposedly has a twinkle in his eye." Sapir, 71, a Democrat who lives Uptown, dismissed a rumor that he might challenge Republican Jay Batt for the District A City Council seat. "No, I was a District B councilman for nine years," Sapir said. "I annihilated Jim Singleton to win that seat." Sapir served on the council from 1967 to 1974. He then served 20 years as an elected judge at Municipal Court. He served as an at-large councilman from 1998 to 2006 before bowing out to term limits. Sapir suspects the councilmanic rumor was started by the campaign of a candidate for mayor, adding, "Tell Jay Batt he can breathe easy." Sapir will have to decide whether to run for mayor by 5 p.m. this Friday (Dec. 11). — Allen Johnson Jr.