Delegate filing will show early presidential backers
The race for president comes to Illinois today as campaigns start turning in their lists of convention delegates voters will choose from on the March primary ballot.
The lists will provide an additional window into the campaigns' top supporters in the state.
Both Republican and Democratic presidential campaigns have three days this week to file their slates of delegates who could represent them at their party's nominating convention later this year. Republicans will hold their national convention July 18-21 in Cleveland. The Democratic convention is scheduled from July 25-28 in Philadelphia.
Once the delegate lists become public starting today, voters will know a little bit more about which local people are supporting particular candidates for president.
Not every candidate will put up the maximum number of delegates, so the slates could indicate how organized a campaign is in Illinois.
Illinois' primary election isn't until March 15, long after the kickoff Iowa caucuses on Feb. 1, so it won't have an early effect on presidential races. But Republican officials in particular see Illinois as an important contest for a primary field that might be winnowed significantly by then.
Illinois State Board of Elections attorney Ken Menzel said the size of the field will mean a lot of delegates will file before Wednesday's deadline.
"We'll have a bunch of people out there Monday morning, I'm sure," he said.
Primary voters both pick a presidential candidate and delegates on the same ballot in March.