Several federal and state primary races are shaping up to be competitive, while most county races will remain uncontested.
Morgan County’s local races will have zero contested primaries. The lone county board position, clerk, treasurer, and sheriff won’t face any opposition for the June 28th primary. Mike Wankel, Jill Waggener, Crystal Myers, and Mike Carmody all filed petitions as Republicans with no opposition for their respective positions on Monday.
Greene County will see some contested races as there are a number of people who have filed for a shot at the Greene County Board. Two Democrats, incumbent Joyce Clark and former Roodhouse alderman David McGraw have filed. The rest is a field of Republicans vying for the six seats. They include incumbents Chris Elliott of White Hall, Earlene Castelberry of Rockbridge, current Board Chairman Mark Strang of rural White Hall, Andrea Schnelten of Rockbridge, and Christy Ford-Lake of Carrollton. Challengers are Rob Hall of Carrollton, Roodhouse Fireman John Forsting, Jr., Richard Ross of Carrrollton, Brandon Malin of Hillview, and Melissa “Missy” Mehrhoff of Carrollton. The White Hall 1 Precinct Committeeman position will see a primary challenge on the Republican side. Long-time committeeman David Surbeck will be challenged by Marcus Jouett. Long-time Greene County Clerk Debbie Banghart is not running again after 32 years in the office. The position will be decided in November when Republican Melissa Schnelt-Carter of Carrollton faces Democrat Arieanna Morris of Carrollton.
Scott County only has one contested primary race. Republican Incumbent Danny Hatcher is being challenged by John Simmons and Steven Grubb. Democrat County Clerk Sandra Hankins will have a challenger in November. Brooke Smith filed under the Republican ticket.
Cass County Clerk Shelly Wessel says there will be opposition in the November General Election in County Board Districts 1 & 3. Board Chairman Michael Barnett and Robert Schaefer are the incumbents who face re-election in District 1. District 3 is currently represented by incumbents Charles Hagloch and Bill Merriman. Wessel has not released the names of the challengers from the November ballot.
Sangamon County will have board positions that will be contested in November, but not for the primary. Board District 6 will see Tracy Sheppard of Auburn, Board District 7 will see Craig Hall of Waverly, and Board District 29 Cathy Scaife of New Berlin will all run unopposed on the Republican ticket. Scaife will face opposition in November as she will face off against Democrat Kathy Johnson of Springfield. Republican County Treasurer Joe Aiello will see opposition in November from Democrat challenger Daniel Pittman. Both are residents of Springfield. Sangamon County Sheriff Jack Campbell and County Clerk Don Gray will run unopposed.
Turning now to state races, 108th District will be open with Avery Bourne’s candidacy for Lieutenant Governor. The spot will go to Republican Wayne Rosenthal who is running unopposed. Republican C.D. Davidsmeyer will remain in the 100th District, despite the district now shifting south out of Jacksonville. Jacksonville will instead be represented by Republican Randy Frese of Paloma. Both are running unopposed.
State Senate seats will see two contests, one of them a primary. The new 54th District that shifts easterly away from Morgan County will see current Senator Steve McClure face a primary challenger, Donald DeBolt. In the 48th District, State Representative appointee Sandy Hamilton will attempt to move up to the senior house when she squares off in November against Democrat incumbent Doris Turner. In the 50th District, Republican Jil Tracy will run unopposed.
For state executive offices, the gubernatorial race will see primary challengers on both sides. Incumbents J.B. Pritzker and Julianna Stratton will be challenged by West Side nurse Beverly Miles, who finished last in a four-way election in 2019 for 28th Ward Chicago alderman race. Her running mate will be Karla Shaw.
The Republican primary for governor and lieutenant governor is a crowded field. Petersburg native Jesse Sullivan and former Jeanne Ives operative Kathleen Murphy were the last to file on Monday evening. Sullivan joins Xenia State Senator Darren Bailey, Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin; Bull Valley businessman Gary Rabine; former state Sen. Paul Schimpf, and Wheaton political neophyte Emily Johnson. Also filing Monday were Republicans Keisha Smith, of Country Club Hills, and Max Solomon, of Hazel Crest.
For Treasurer, Democrat incumbent Michael Frerichs will get either one of two Republicans – Patrice McDermand or Tom Demmer.
The same goes for the Comptroller’s Office with Democrat incumbent Susana Mendoza getting either Shannon Teresi or Michael Kinney.
The Republican Attorney General primary has a three-way race to square off against Kwame Raoul in November. Downstate attorney Thomas DeVore, who has been the legal driving force against school mask mandates in Illinois and other Pritzker pandemic-related executive orders, will face off against ormer attorney general and lieutenant governor candidate Steve Kim and former Donald Trump legal team member David Shestokas.
The Illinois Secretary of State’s seat is up for grabs as Jesse White is not seeking another term. For the Democrats, former state Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias has serious competition from Chicago City Clerk Anna Valencia. Valencia has received several key endorsements, including White’s heading into the primary. David Moore and Sidney Moore are also in the race on the Democrat side. For Republicans, it’s a three way race with former Central Illinois Federal Court prosecutor John Milhiser facing off against former state senator Dan Brady, and former Chicago police officer Michelle Turney.
Federal races in Illinois are equally interesting.
8 Republican challengers are hoping to knock off Democrat incumbent Tammy Duckworth.
Previous Dick Durbin challengers, Casey Chlebek and Peggy Hubbard have returned to the ballot. They are followed by Kathy Salvi, wife of former Secretary of State candidate Al Salvi, along with MaryAnn Mahlen, Robert “Bobby” Piton, Jimmy Lee Tillman II, Anthony W. Williams, and Matt Dubiel.
In the new 15th Congressional District, Republican incumbents Rodney Davis and Mary Miller have already entered into a brutal campaign to represent the district. The winner will face Democratic challenger Paul Lange in November.
In the 13th Congressional District that was left vacant by the newly drawn maps, Democrats will choose from Ellis Taylor, David Palmer, or former Biden Administration employee Nikki Budzinski. Republicans have a 4-way race between Terry Martin, Matt Hausman, Regan Deering, and Jesse Reising.
The deadline for petition challenges is next Monday, and the State Board of Elections is scheduled to certify candidates for the primary on April 21st. Early voting will begin in May with the primary set for June 28th.