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updated: 11/25/2013 8:34 PM

State candidates make it official as petition filing opens

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  • State Sen. Kirk Dillard, a Hinsdale Republican and candidate for governor, was among those filing petitions Monday in Springfield.

       State Sen. Kirk Dillard, a Hinsdale Republican and candidate for governor, was among those filing petitions Monday in Springfield.
    Mike Riopell | Staff Photographer

  • Candidates or their representatives lined up Monday outside the Illinois Illinois Board of Elections office in Springfield, hoping to capture the top ballot position by filing nominating petitions as soon as the office opened.

      Candidates or their representatives lined up Monday outside the Illinois Illinois Board of Elections office in Springfield, hoping to capture the top ballot position by filing nominating petitions as soon as the office opened.
    Associated Press

  • Jake Butcher attaches paperwork to petitions he filed on behalf of Illinois Senate Democratic candidates Monday at the Illinois State Board of Elections office in Springfield.

      Jake Butcher attaches paperwork to petitions he filed on behalf of Illinois Senate Democratic candidates Monday at the Illinois State Board of Elections office in Springfield.
    Associated Press

 
 

SPRINGFIELD -- After months of candidates announcing their plans to run for office, hopefuls began turning in thousands of petition signatures Monday to get on the March 18 primary election ballot.

It could be an active primary season locally for the GOP with every Republican ticket for governor having suburban ties, the leading candidates for U.S. Senate coming from the Chicago area, crowded fields for Congress and campaigns for Illinois General Assembly that could focus on candidates who disagree about same-sex marriage.

Democrats, the majority party in the state, also filed petitions Monday. Leading the slate will be U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin and Gov. Pat Quinn.

"Today is really when you jump into the pool," said state Sen. Kirk Dillard, a Hinsdale Republican and candidate for governor who filed petitions Monday.

Candidates who lined up in the cold before 8 a.m. at the Illinois Board of Elections got into a lottery to have their names at the top of the ballot list for that particular office. Experts say that top spot could net a few votes.

Because of that, the lineup for the March 18 election was largely set by the time election offices closed Monday. However, candidates have until next Monday, Dec. 2, to file, and some wait until the last minute to claim the bottom ballot position in their races.

Candidates for county office file petitions beginning Monday with county clerks.

Among those not filing Monday were Democratic U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth of Hoffman Estates and Gov. Quinn. A Republican primary opponent for state Rep. Ed Sullivan of Mundelein hasn't yet surfaced, despite vocal opposition to Sullivan's support for same-sex marriage.

Even candidates without primary election battles arrived for the show Monday, including Republican Bob Dold, whose rematch bid for Congress against Democratic U.S. Rep. Brad Schneider of Deerfield could be watched nationally.

"Big step today," Dold said to a passing supporter.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Dan Rutherford's running mate, Steve Kim of Northbrook, said the campaign filed more than twice the number of signatures it needed despite an early snafu that forced them to restart the collection effort.

"That was a nonissue," Kim said.

And Republican governor candidate Bill Brady's running mate, Maria Rodriguez of Long Grove, said she's been trying to help Brady in the Chicago area.

"I've been focusing a lot of my time in Cook and the collar counties," she said.

Republican hopeful Bruce Rauner's petition signatures for governor were also filed Monday. A Democratic challenger to Quinn, Tio Hardiman of Hillside, filed to run.

Both state Sen. Jim Oberweis of Sugar Grove and Doug Truax of Downers Grove filed in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate, and the GOP has contested primaries for Congress for chances to run against Democrats Duckworth and U.S. Rep. Bill Foster of Naperville.

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