The slate of candidates running for state, federal and local offices has finally taken shape following last week’s deadline to file for the 2018 elections.
Illinoisans will see a heavily contested race for governor in the March 20 primary, with six Democratic candidates and two Republican candidates including incumbent Bruce Rauner.
Democratic candidates are JB Pritzker of Chicago, Chris Kennedy of Kenilworth, State Sen. Daniel Biss of Evanston, Bob Daiber of Marine, Tio Hardiman of Calumet City and Robert Marshall of Burr Ridge.
Rauner’s Republican challenger in the primary will be State Rep. Jeanne Ives of Wheaton. Rauner was elected governor in 2014.
Pritzker is a billionaire entrepreneur and investor. He inherited his wealth from his father, Donald, who managed and developed the Hyatt Hotels chain. Chris Kennedy is the son of Robert F. Kennedy and the nephew of President John F. Kennedy.
Biss has been on the Illinois Senate since 2012. Daiber is the Madison County Regional Superintendent of Schools.
In 2004, Hardiman created the Violence Interrupters Initiative, a violence intervention program consisting of experts trained to resolve conflict. Marshall, a 1968 Harvard University graduate, sought the Republican nomination for governor in 1990.
Terry Getz of Dupo will be on the ballot as a write-in candidate for governor with no running mate. Getz is a correctional officer at Southwestern Illinois Correctional Center in East St. Louis.
Democratic incumbent Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza, who was elected last November after Leslie Munger was appointed deputy governor, will face no Democratic challenger in the primary. Republican Illinois Comptroller candidate Darlene Senger of Naperville will also run unopposed in the March primary.
Democratic incumbent Illinois Treasurer Michael Frerichs has no competition in the primary, nor does Republican candidate Jim Dodge of Orland Park. Frerichs was elected in 2014.
Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, a Chicago Democrat, will not continue her 14-year tenure. Republican candidates for the position include Erika Harold of Urbana and Gary Grasso of Burr Ridge.
Democratic candidates are State Sen. Kwame Raoul of Chicago, Renato Mariotti of Chicago, Nancy Rotering of Highland Park, State Rep. Scott Drury of Highwood, former governor Pat Quinn, Sharon Fairley of Chicago, Jesse Ruiz of Chicago, and Aaron Goldstein of Chicago.
Illinois Secretary of State incumbent Jesse White, who has been in office for 18 years, will have a challenger in the primary in Democratic State Sen. Michael Hastings of Tinley Park. Republican Jason Helland of Mazon will run unopposed in the primary for the position.
State Rep. Jerry Costello II (D-Smithton) will not have a challenger in the primary, but will go up against Republican David Friess of Red Bud in the November elections. Costello has served as representative of the 116th District of Illinois for six years.
Friess is an attorney at Arbeiter Law Offices in Chester. The 116th District serves parts of Randolph, Monroe, Perry and St. Clair counties.
12th Congressional District
U.S. Rep. Mike Bost (R-Murphysboro) will be challenged in the primary by Preston Nelson of Benton, who is running as a Libertarian for the Republican nomination.
Democrats running for the 12th Congressional District include current St. Clair County State’s Attorney Brendan Kelly, David Bequette of Columbia, and Charles Koen of Cairo.
Bost has held the seat since 2015. Nelson is a former model at Active Models China and former communications divisions director for the Libertarian Party of Illinois. Koen, a 1966 McKendree University graduate, was part of the civil rights movement in the 1960s.
Lynda Lee Sparks-Franklin of Percy filed objections Monday with the Illinois State Board of Elections to contest the candidate filing status of both Bequette and Koen.
Randy Auxier of Murphysboro is running for the 12th District seat as a Green Party candidate. Auxier is a philosophy and communication studies professor at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.
No Democrats will be featured on the ballot for Monroe County offices. All Republicans who filed will be unopposed in the primary.
Republican candidates include incumbents Monroe County Treasurer Kevin Koenigstein, Monroe-Randolph Regional Superintendent Kelton Davis, Monroe County Assessor Carl Wuertz, Monroe County Sheriff Neal Rohlfing, and Monroe County Clerk candidate Jonathan McLean of Columbia and Monroe County Commissioner candidate Ron Schultheis, a lifelong Monroe County resident and graduate of Valmeyer High School.
Monroe County Commissioner Delbert Wittenauer, a Democrat, and Monroe County Clerk Dennis Knobloch, a Republican, are both retiring from their offices.
Meet the Candidates
While they have no local candidates running in 2018, the Monroe County Democrats are hosting a “Meet the Candidates” event this Sunday at the Waterloo VFW Hall.
The event will run from 4 to 6 p.m., with Illinois gubernatorial candidates Pritzker and Daiber and a spokesman for Kennedy among those slated to attend.