Primary election is Tuesday - Republic-Times | News

Primary election is Tuesday

By on March 14, 2018 at 3:16 pm

Voters across the state will be able to choose candidates Tuesday for the November elections from a slate of primary contestants.

While some state and congressional races are contested, no Democrats will be featured on the ballot for Monroe County offices and Republicans will run 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 and Monroe County Commissioner candidate Ron Schultheis.

Monroe County Commissioner Delbert Wittenauer, a Democrat, and Monroe County Clerk Dennis Knobloch, a Republican, are both retiring from their offices.

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. Bost was elected to the seat in 2014.

Nelson is a former communications divisions director for the Libertarian Party of Illinois. 

Democrats running for the 12th Congressional District include current St. Clair County State’s Attorney Brendan Kelly of Swansea, and David Bequette of Columbia. A Columbia High School graduate, Bequette served in the U.S. Marine Corps for five years.

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.

Illinois’ 12th District serves 12 southern Illinois counties, including Monroe, Madison, Randolph and St. Clair. 

Governor’s race
Illinoisans will see a heavily contested race for governor in the 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, a billionaire from Winnetka, was elected governor in 2014. Ives, a former Army officer and West Point graduate, was elected to her seat in 2012.

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 served as a state senator since 2012. Daiber serves as 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.

Among the key issues being debated in the race for governor, a progressive income tax has the support of most Democratic candidates. Such a tax has been assigned to committee in the Illinois House for review.

Currently, Illinois has a flat personal income tax at a rate of 4.95 percent. The proposed measure would allow the state to have changing rates based on income. 

For those with an annual household income exceeding $225,000, the rate would be set at 7.65 percent, compared to a rate of 6.27 percent for households with annual incomes between $15,000 and $225,000.

Those in favor of the progressive income tax include Pritzker, Kennedy, Biss, Hardiman and Daiber. Marshall opposes such a tax, as do Republicans Rauner and Ives.

Other state offices
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 November.

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.

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, a Chicago Democrat, has announced she 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.

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. 

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. 

Illinois Secretary of State incumbent Jesse White, a Democrat who has been in office for 18 years, will have no primary challenger. Republican Jason Helland of Mazon will run unopposed in the primary for the position.

Sean McGowan

Sean is a die-hard Cubs fan, despite the relentless peer pressure coming from the rest of the Republic-Times staff. He and his wife, Jacqui, have been married for two years. Originally from the west suburbs of Chicago, Sean and his wife moved down to Normal to attend Illinois State University and stayed central Illinois residents for the past four years.