Though it seems like it's been going on for months, Illinois' election season hits an important milestone today as the official lineup of candidates begins to take shape.
Candidates for Congress, Illinois governor and other statewide offices, the Illinois legislature and county offices can begin filing their nominating petitions today. The deadline to file is Dec. 4.
Those who get their paperwork in -- and make it through any petition challenges, a time-honored and sometimes bloodthirsty Illinois political tradition -- will get onto the ballot for the March 20 primary election.
A tumultuous year in national politics is expected to bring out a crowd. Republican U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam of Wheaton, running in a district that backed Hillary Clinton in 2016, has as many as eight potential Democratic opponents.
In Illinois, the party in power after the Nov. 6, 2018, general election will have the upper hand in drawing legislative maps that will help shape Illinois' political leanings for the next decade.
The Illinois State Board of Elections keeps a running list of candidates filing to run for statewide offices, Congress and legislative seats. You can follow along at www.elections.il.gov/ElectionInformation/CandFiling.aspx.
Candidates for county office will file with local election authorities. Look for information at:
• Cook County clerk, www.cookcountyclerk.com/service/candidate-filing
• DuPage County clerk, www.dupageco.org/Election/
• Kane County clerk, www.kanecountyelections.org/
• Lake County clerk, https://www.lakecountyil.gov/163/Elections
• McHenry County clerk, www.co.mchenry.il.us/county-government/departments-a-i/county-clerk/elections
• Aurora Election Commission, http://auroravotes.org/.