Today marks the first day for established party candidates to file their nomination papers for the June 28 primary, a tradition that typically entails staffers camping outside election offices in Springfield and Chicago for a chance to get their candidates listed first on the ballot.
This year will be a crucial test of strength for members of the General Assembly, who are all up for election this year, thanks to decennial redistricting.
This week, we’ll begin to learn which candidates have the goods to make it on the ballot. The petition submission window for most races lasts through next Monday, but several hopefuls could get knocked off the ticket in the weeks to come after petition challenges. Until then, here’s a brief (but not all-inclusive) cheat sheet for the races we’re watching.
U.S. Senate: No Dems have publicly emerged to take on U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth. Republican challengers to watch include Bobby Piton, Allison Salinas and Peggy Hubbard.
U.S. House: There are plenty of contested races to watch:
1st CD: The crowded race to replace retiring Rep. Bobby Rush could feature upwards of a dozen Democratic candidates. Ald. Pat Dowell, Jonathan Jackson, Karin Norington-Reaves, Jonathan Swain and state Sen. Jacqueline Collins have already declared bids.
3rd CD: Moderate Democrat Ald. Gilbert Villegas, 36th, will likely face off against progressive state Rep. Delia Ramirez, who already has the endorsement of Congressman Chuy Garcia in the new heavily Latino district on the city’s Northwest Side. Iymen Chehade, one-time adviser to Marie Newman (more on that below) has also thrown his hat in the ring.
6th CD: Incumbent Reps. Sean Casten and Marie Newman are facing off and facing controversies in this heater centered in southwest and west suburban Chicago, with Newman facing an ethics inquiry over an alleged arrangement with Chehade for him not to run against her. Casten is the subject of an FEC complaint that his campaign illegally colluded with a super PAC funded by his wealthy father.
11th CD: A handful of Republicans are expected to file to take on incumbent Democrat Bill Foster, whose district is on the national Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s list of 32 “Frontline” members most in need of financial and political support. After redistricting, Foster lost 55% of his constituents and the district became much more rural. At least eight Republican names, including Trump-aligned Catalina Lauf, who originally planned to primary Rep. Adam Kinzinger, have emerged so far.
14th CD: Like Foster, incumbent Dem Lauren Underwood is also on the DCCC’s “Frontline” list. Look for several Republicans to file.
15th CD: The matchup is between five-term incumbent Rodney Davis and controversial freshman Congresswoman Mary Miller, who already carries an endorsement from former President Donald Trump. Davis has the support of dozens of surrounding GOP county organizations and fellow Republican Congressmen Mike Bost and Darin LaHood.
17th CD: The open race to succeed outgoing Democratic Rep. Cheri Bustos in the northwest corner of the state is considered a toss-up by the Cook Political Report. Eight Dems are seeking the seat here, as are at least two Republicans.
Up in November: Governor, Attorney General, Secretary of State, Comptroller, and Treasurer; as well as all state senators and representatives.
Gov: J.B. Pritzker’s challengers are well-known: Griffin-backed candidate Richard Irvin, businessmen Gary Rabine and Jesse Sullivan, state Sen. Darren Bailey and former state Sen. Paul Schimpf.
AG: Incumbent Kwame Raoul could face attorney Thomas DeVore, best known for his largely unsuccessful challenges to Gov. Pritzker’s COVID mandates, or attorney Steve Kim, who is on the slate of candidates under Richard Irvin.
Secretary of State: The Democratic primary has been one to watch, as Alexi Giannoulias and Anna Valencia duke it out on fundraising and endorsements, with Ald. David Moore so far trailing behind on both. On the Republican side, Dan Brady is likely to face Irvin-backed candidate John Milhiser.
Up in November: Clerk, Treasurer, Sheriff, Assessor, Boards of Review, County Commissioners and Board Members (including Board Presidents)
Big shifts could be on the way for the Cook County Board, where longtime commissioners Deborah Sims, Larry Suffredin and Peter Silvestri are all retiring, and where attorney and former commissioner (and constant thorn in Board President Toni Preckwinkle’s side) Richard Boykin is stepping up to challenge her bid for a fourth term in the Democratic Primary. Silvestri is one of only two Republicans left on the board.
Sheriff Tom Dart—who has held the spot since the 2006 election—is facing a crowded field: half a dozen Democrats have expressed interest in the job.
No Republican names have emerged for Cook County Assessor—but incumbent first-termer Fritz Kaegi is already in for an interesting race against Kari Steele, who has the backing of big building interests downtown. All three members of the Board of Review are also up for election.
The window for interested candidates to submit their names to fill the 11th Ward seat vacated by convicted Ald. Patrick Daley Thompson closes on March 11. The finalist is expected to be confirmed by the City Council and sworn in at the City Council meeting on March 23.
Elsewhere on the federal corruption sweep: Former House Speaker Mike Madigan will be arraigned this Wednesday by phone. Read up on Crain’s coverage of his indictment, including our Editorial Board’s take on other needed ethics reforms as well as what the indictment alleges about Madigan’s role in killing power supplier reform. Having a tough time keeping cases straight? We have a tracker here.
Sen. Dick Durbin announced this week that he will cosponsor the Ban Russian Energy Imports Act, which was introduced last week by Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK). The legislation would prohibit the importation of Russian crude oil, petroleum, petroleum products, liquefied natural gas, and coal. “The United States cannot continue to purchase millions of barrels of oil while Putin wages an unprovoked and unjustified war on Ukraine,” Durbin said in a statement.
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