Hundreds of hopeful candidates lined the sidewalk and street in front of the Illinois State Board of Elections Monday morning in Springfield, angling for the chance to be listed first in their contested races on 2018 ballots. Those who missed their shot today will have until Dec. 4 to file their petitions.
From the 18th Congressional District, Brian Deters (D-Morton) filed to challenge incumbent U.S. Rep. Darin LaHood (R-Peoria) and his long-shot primary opponent Ray Rients (R-Benson). From the 13th Congressional District Betsy Dirksen Londrigan (D-Springfield) stood in line for a shot at Republican U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis’ safe seat.
Candidates filing petitions for Attorney General yesterday included Chicago Democrat state Sen. Kwame Raoul (pictured left), former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti (D-Chicago), state Rep. Scott Drury (D-Highwood), Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering, and former Gov. Pat Quinn. Sharon Fairley was absent, however. The only GOP candidate to file was Erika Harold (R-Urbana), who has received the endorsements from her party and Gov. Bruce Rauner.
Remarking on the biennial tradition, Raoul said “In other states, they have the option to either pay to get on the ballot or circulate petitions. I think the circulation of petitions is better because it actually forces you to speak to the voters. When I got here I had my folks at the front of the line, however I started at the back of the line talking to different first-timers who are filing because I think it’s an important experience for them and it’s an important reflection of what our democracy is and should be.”
Mariotti, however, was eager to get moving.
“I think it’s fine but I wish, instead of spending so much energy here in line, we could spend that energy doing some good for people,” he said. Mariotti was eager to see movement in the Attorney General’s office as well, advocating for a stronger advocacy role in the office. “I don’t want us to be limping into these things. I want us to be on the leadership and forefront of these things and I want us to be more aggressive taking on the Trump administration and the Rauner administration.”
Campaign staffers for Gov. Bruce Rauner and Lt. Gov. Evelyn Sanguinetti filed on behalf of the absent duo, but primary challenger and state Rep. Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton) held off, announcing she would be filing more than 13,000 petitions later this week.
Democratic gubernatorial candidates were spotted in line including Chicago Democrat J.B. Pritzker (pictured right), state Sens. Daniel Biss (D-Skokie) and Latesa Wallace (D-Rockford), and Democrat Ra Joy, running mate of the absent Chris Kennedy.
“We weren’t interested in camping out overnight but we wanted to make sure we were here by 8:00 a.m.,” said Biss, “to make sure we were filing our petitions at 8:00 a.m. to make sure we had the lottery shot to be at the top of the ballot. But also to respect the hundred of volunteers across the state who worked in the rain and the cold and the sleet to get these signatures.”
Biss said this Illinois political tradition carries significance for him during his first filing at the new Springfield location. “This is about all of us standing together in one place at one time. It’s not a Facebook message, it’s not a virtual town hall. It’s actual people standing together and exercising a civic right.”
Candidates for the state Senate filing Monday also included incumbent Sen. Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) and his Christian County GOP Chair opponent Seth McMillan (R-Taylorville). In the 50th Senate District, incumbent Sen. Sam McCann (R-Plainview) was notably absent but his primary challenger Steve McClure (R-Springfield) filed.
Illinois House candidates filled the lines also, shoving boxes of paper petitions along the pavement. House GOP Leader Jim Durkin filed petitions today, although his opponent did not. Several candidates for the House’s 25th District crowded the sidewalk, along with Republicans from Springfield, former restaurateur Mike Murphy in the House’s 99th District seat and incumbent Rep. Tim Butler in the Hosue’s 87th. Incumbent Rep. C.D. Davidsmeyer (R-Jacksonville) also filed petitions to keep his seat in the 100th District.
Follow The Daily Line Springfield for continued coverage and updates on candidate filings through the week.