Some election contests are taking shape for the March primary ballot for statehouse seats and seats in the U.S. Congress as politicians from across the state file nominating petitions with the Illinois State Board of Elections.

Monday marked the opening of the filing period for the March 17 primary.

Candidates were lined up hours before the doors opened, Illinois State Board of Elections spokesman Matt Dietrich said. That enters them in a lottery to be at the top of the ballot in their race.

“It’s kind of a tradition,” Dietrich said. “Candidates make a big deal out of it. We’ve never been able to find any evidence that that gives you any kind of an advantage, but that is a tradition.”

Judges and members of the Illinois House are among those filing for re-election, Dietrich said.

“We have I believe 20 [state] Senate races up this year, all of the Illinois congressional delegation,” Dietrich said.

There’s also a contest for U.S. Senator Dick Durbin’s seat. Durbin was in line Monday filing petitions for another term. Two Republican candidates, Mark Curran and Tom Tarter, both filed at 8 a.m. for the GOP nomination for the seat.

Candidates have until 5 p.m. Dec. 2 to file. More than 400 candidates had filed papers as of Monday afternoon.

Among the candidates who filed were two Democrats seeking the 3rd District seat in the Illinois House. That seat was vacated by former state Rep. Luis Arroyo. He stepped down after he was charged with bribing an unnamed state senator. He has pleaded not guilty.

House Speaker Michael Madigan signaled the House would challenge the qualifications of the person party leaders chose for the seat if Arroyo had any part in the selection project. Party leaders in that district chose Eva Dina Delgado to take Arroyo’s seat. She filed Monday, as did David Feller.

Peter Breen of Lombard filed as a Republican in an effort to regain the 48th House district seat he lost to state Rep. Terra Costa-Howard, D-Glen Ellyn. Costa-Howard also filed Monday.

There could be a Republican primary in the 74th Illinois House district. State Rep. Dan Swanson, R-Alpha, filed, as did Frank Ostling of Amboy. Another Republican primary would pit state Rep. Allen Skillicorn, R-East Dundee, against Carolyn Schofield of Crystal Lake, both filed for the 66th District seat. Democrats Suzanne Ness of Crystal Lake and Jim Malone of Carpentersville also filed papers for the 66th District seat.

Three Republicans – David Friess of Red Bud, David Holder of Baldwin and Kevin Schmidt of Millstadt – could face off to challenge state Rep. Nathan Reitz, D-Steeleville. All three filed Monday.

Four Republicans filed Monday for the 115th House seat being vacated by state Rep. Terri Bryant, R-Murphysboro. Bryant filed for the 58th state Senate district on Monday. The four Republicans vying for her seat are John Howard of Texico, Johnnie Ray Smith II of Ashley, Clifford Lindemann of Bluford and Zachary Meyer of DuQuoin. 

Three Republicans are vying for the seat of state Rep. Darren Bailey, R-Xenia, after Bailey announced he’s running for the state Senate. The three Republicans are Andy Hires of Olney, Cory Musgrave of Geff and Adam Niemerg of Dieterich. Bailey filed Monday for the 55th Senate District.

Two Democrats, Maggie Trevor of Rolling Meadows and Ryan Huffman of Palatine, want to unseat state Rep. Tom Morrison, R-Palatine. Two Republicans, Al Manzo of Addison and Michael Camerer of Bartlett, want to challenge state Rep. Diane Pappas, D-Itasca. 

In the Illinois Senate, state Sen. Chuck Weaver, R-Peoria, could face a challenge in the primary from Win Stoller of East Peoria. Both filed as Republicans. State Sen. Tony Munoz, D-Chicago, could face Froylan Jimenez of Chicago in the Democratic primary. State Sen. Robert Peters, D-Chicago, faces a primary challenge from Ken Thomas of Chicago. State Sen. Robert Martwick, D-Chicago, could be challenged by Danny O’Toole of Chicago.

State Rep. Margo McDermed, R-Mokena, isn’t running for reelection. Republicans Tim Ozinga of Mokena and Tim Baldermann of New Lenox filed Monday for that seat as did Democrat Michelle Fadeley of Joliet.

State Rep. Theresa Mah, D-Chicago, could face a challenge in March from Bobby Martinez Olson of Chicago. State Rep. Justin Slaughter, D-Chicago, may face a challenge from Marlo Barnett of Chicago. State Rep. Kam Buckner, D-Chicago, could see a challenge from Marc Loveless of Chicago. State Rep. Sara Feigenholtz, D-Chicago, could see a challenge from Ryan Podges of Chicago. State Rep. Omar Williams, D-Chicago, could face Gerard Moorer of Chicago in the primary.

State Rep. Lindsey LaPointe, D-Chicago, has two party challengers, Joe Duplenchin and Patti Vasquez, both of Chicago. All three filed petitions Monday. State Rep. Yahiel Kalish, D-Chicago, faces a primary challenge from Denyse Stoneback of Skokie.

Dietrich said Monday that the agency is working to digitize those documents.

“As soon as the petitions get filed, you’ll have other candidates who want access to them to start reviewing them to look over any of what they may object to,” Dietrich said.

Challenges of’ nominating petitions begin Dec. 3. And come January, there will be filings for Illinois’ presidential primary.

“This is the busiest day always for us in any two-year election cycle,” Dietrich said. “It gets even busier in a presidential year because you have not just so much the presidential candidates, but you also have all of their delegate candidates.”

The primary is March 17. Voters have to publicly declare a party to cast a ballot. Voters can request a non-partisan ballot for any local ballot initiatives.

Staff Reporter

Greg Bishop reports on Illinois government and other issues for The Center Square. Bishop has years of award-winning broadcast experience and hosts the WMAY Morning Newsfeed out of Springfield.