Where DuPage County voters will find contested legislative primaries

Most DuPage County voters will have to wait until November to see a slew of legislative contests on their ballots.

Primary battles are scarce on both sides of the aisle this spring. But the once-a-decade redistricting process has caused some political shuffling for seats in Springfield.

In one of the few competitive primary races in DuPage, state Rep. Kathleen Willis, an Addison Democrat, faces an intraparty challenge from Norma Hernandez, a Triton College trustee from Melrose Park. Hernandez launched her campaign with a high-profile endorsement from U.S. Rep. Jesús G. "Chuy" Garcia.

Here's a rundown of who's running elsewhere:

Illinois House

Democratic state Rep. Janet Yang Rohr, a former Naperville Unit District 203 school board member, has no primary opponent. But Republican Jennifer Bruzan Taylor, a Naperville City Council member and former Cook County assistant state's attorney, is expected to challenge her in the November general election for the 41st House District seat. Bruzan Taylor also led an "Opt Out" group opposed to recreational marijuana stores in Naperville.

In the 42nd House District, state Rep. Terra Costa Howard, a Glen Ellyn Democrat, is running solo in the primary. Republican Stefanie Hood, an attorney from Glen Ellyn, is slated to take on Costa Howard in November. Costa Howard, an attorney, currently holds the 48th District seat, but new legislative maps put her in a reconfigured district that includes parts of Downers Grove, Glen Ellyn, Lisle, Lombard, Naperville and Wheaton.

Farther east, state Rep. Deanne Mazzochi is unopposed in the GOP primary in the new 45th House District. A former College of DuPage board chairwoman, Mazzochi was drawn out of her current district, the 47th, during the Democratic-led remap process. Democrat Jenn Ladisch Douglass, an attorney from Elmhurst, is expected to square off against Mazzochi in November.

Both parties have avoided primary contests in the 46th House District. Villa Park Democrat Diane Blair-Sherlock is making a bid for the open seat against Republican Robert Stevens, also of Villa Park. Democratic incumbent Deb Conroy is instead running for DuPage County Board chair.

Republican state Rep. Amy Grant has no competition from either party in the 47th House District.

Bloomingdale Democrat Azam Nizamuddin and Hanover Park Republican Jennifer Sanalitro are vying for the 48th House District seat. Nizamuddin, an attorney, filed nominating petitions Monday. He was a DuPage County judicial candidate in 2020.

In the 49th District, Bartlett Village President Kevin Wallace is taking up a GOP challenge to incumbent Maura Hirschauer, a Batavia Democrat.

In the 56th House District, William Thomas Olson and E. Dale Litney of Schaumburg will compete in the Republican primary for the chance to run against Democratic incumbent Michelle Mussman of Schaumburg in November.

Anthony Airdo, who's made three failed runs for the 77th House seat held by Willis, has filed on the Republican side. Willis handily defeated Airdo in their last matchup two years ago.

Rep. Anne Stava-Murray of Naperville has a clear path to the Democratic nomination in the 81st House District. Stava-Murray has a Republican rival in Paul Leong, now in his first term on the Naperville City Council.

In the 84th House District, Democratic state Rep. Stephanie Kifowit has drawn a Republican challenger in Joe West, the Oswego Township supervisor.

Illinois Senate

Naperville Democratic Sen. Laura Ellman, who was elected in 2018, is running for reelection in the 21st District. Kathleen Murray of Lombard is the Republican candidate for the seat.

Sen. Karina Villa, a West Chicago Democrat, is seeking reelection in the 25th District. West Chicago Alderman Heather Brown, a Republican, is challenging Villa.

In the 42nd District, Democratic Sen. Linda Holmes of Aurora seeks another term. Naperville Township Trustee Paul Santucci has signed up to run on the Republican side.

Democratic State Sen. John Connor is not seeking reelection in the 43rd District, creating competitive primaries. Joliet Democrat Rachel Ventura, a Will County Board member, and Eric Matteson, a Joliet firefighter, seek their party's nomination.

Michelle Lee, a Joliet Junior College board member from Shorewood, and Diane Harris, vice chair of the Joliet Township Republican Organization, are facing off in the GOP primary.

Sen. Suzanne "Suzy" Glowiak Hilton, a Western Springs Democrat, currently represents the 24th District but has filed petitions to seek the 23rd District seat. Former state lawmaker Dennis Reboletti of Elmhurst also has launched a Republican bid for the office.

Meanwhile, local Democratic Party leaders have appointed former state Rep. Diane Pappas to temporarily replace embattled former state Sen. Tom Cullerton in the 23rd District. Cullerton last Tuesday pleaded guilty in a federal embezzlement case.

Pappas said last week she had not circulated petitions for the primary but could be interested if a seat that would require party officials to choose the candidate becomes available, a possibility in the newly drawn 24th District. That would set the stage for a potential rematch with Bartlett Republican Seth Lewis.

Two years ago, Lewis ousted Pappas in the 45th Illinois House District.

He is the only declared candidate of either party to file in the 24th.

None of the races are set in stone because candidate petitions can be challenged in the coming weeks. The primary is June 28.

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