Republican state Rep. Rosemary Mulligan of Des Plaines, once facing an uncontested primary, now has two GOP opponents who joined her Thursday in filing as write-in candidates.
Susan Sweeney and Kelly Schaefer, both Republicans from Park Ridge, have filed with Cook County elections officials as write-ins along with Mulligan. In Illinois, write-in hopefuls have to file their intentions, and Thursday was the last day to do so.
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Mulligan will now have to compete in a rare three-way write-in campaign in the 55th House District to even get to the November general election and have a shot at re-election.
"I'm hopeful I'll be able to win that," Mulligan said Thursday. "This is not what I would consider the best way of doing this."
Sweeney put out a news release late Thursday saying she's a community volunteer and former businesswoman who grew up in Park Ridge.
"I want to bring the common-sense experiences we all share of balancing a budget, paying the bills and preparing for the future to a state that has clearly forgotten those fundamentals," Sweeney said in a statement.
Earlier, she declined to answer further questions about the race.
A message left at Schaefer's home wasn't immediately returned.
Just weeks ago, Mulligan was facing a uncontested primary that would have allowed her to focus on an eventual November election battle with Democrat Marty Moylan, the mayor of Des Plaines.
But Mulligan voluntarily withdrew after it became clear she'd be ousted from the ballot for not filing enough valid petition signatures to remain.
For a write-in candidate, the winner needs at least 500 votes to advance to the general election. And only votes where her name is spelled correctly will be counted.
The district the three Republicans will fight for includes Des Plaines, Elk Grove Village and Park Ridge.
Mulligan has been in the Illinois House since 1993 and has focused on budget and human services issues.
Write-in: Mulligan didn't have enough valid petition signatures