Wikipedia describes the political process of 80 BC thus:
Near the end of 81 BC, Sulla, true to his traditionalist sentiments, resigned his dictatorship, disbanded his legions and re-established normal consular government. He also stood for (with Metellus Pius) and was elected consul for the following year, 80 BC. He dismissed his lictors and walked unguarded in the Forum, offering to give account of his actions to any citizen.
This sounds rather upright. But I am wondering, however, whether other candidates except Sulla and Metellus, his crony, were allowed to - or dared to - stand in that election. Is something known about this?
My suspicions are further heightened by this passage in Appian:
The following year Sulla, although he was dictator, undertook the consulship a second time, with Metellus Pius for his colleague, in order to preserve the pretence and form of democratic government. It is perhaps from this example that the Roman emperors appoint consuls for the country and even sometimes nominate themselves, considering it not unbecoming to hold the office of consul in connection with the supreme power.