Monday was the first day of filing for candidates in three Northwest suburbs -- Hoffman Estates, Palatine and Schaumburg -- with potential primary elections on Feb. 26.
But despite the emergence of some expected contested races Monday, no primaries look likely.
All three villages will have general elections on April 9, like every other. But only these Northwest Cook County suburbs have the potential for an earlier primary if the field of candidates proves especially large.
The threshold to trigger a primary is if the number of candidates that files for a particular office exceeds four times the number of seats available for that office.
A primary election would only narrow the field of candidates to exactly four times the number of seats available for each office.
In Hoffman Estates, Mayor Bill McLeod and Trustee Ray Kincaid both filed for the office of mayor. For the three trustee seats available, incumbents Karen Mills and Jackie Green were joined by newcomers Mike Gaeta and Gayle Vandenbergh.
Hoffman Estates already has a race for village clerk as well, between incumbent Bev Romanoff and challenger Heather Mahoney.
Just three candidates turned in their paperwork in Palatine.
Filing first thing Monday morning were District 6 Councilman Brad Helms, who'll seek a third four-year term, and Tim Millar, current Palatine Township Elementary District 15 board president. Millar hopes to succeed District 1 Councilman Aaron Del Mar, who won't seek a second term.
Palatine Village Clerk Margaret "Marg" Duer, who's held the post since 1989, also filed.
A third council seat in District 4 and the office of mayor are up, as well. Councilman Greg Solberg and Mayor Jim Schwantz both have said they'll run for re-election, but didn't file on Monday.
In Schaumburg, the only candidates who filed Monday were the three incumbent trustees whose terms will expire next May -- Marge Connelly, Frank Kozak and Jack Sullivan. The village's mayoral office is not up for election this cycle.
The filing period for the potential Feb. 26 primary will end at the close of business next Monday, Nov. 26.
Candidates normally appear on the ballot in the order in which they filed, unless they arrive in line at the village clerk's office simultaneously, as occurred with all of Hoffman Estates' Monday filers.
The Hoffman Estates clerk's office will conduct a lottery at 1 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 4, to determine the ballot order of all those who filed at 8:30 a.m. Monday.
For all other municipalities and taxing bodies with an April 9 election, the candidate filing period will run from Monday, Dec. 17, through Christmas Eve, Monday, Dec. 24.
• Daily Herald staff writer Melissa Silverberg contributed to this report.