SEP 07, 2023
Candidates begin lining up to run in March primary as petition season begins
The State Board of Elections in Springfield.
Candidates for offices large and small began going door to door in their communities on Tuesday asking their neighbors to sign petitions allowing them to run for office.
Here’s how some races for the General Assembly are shaping up:
4th House District:
Democrat Kirk Ortiz of Chicago plans to run in a race that would pit him against Rep. Lilian Jimenez (D-Chicago). Oritz unsuccessfully ran for 26th Ward alderperson this spring and currently maintains an Instagram page showing he’s running for Cook County Sheriff.
6th House District:
Republican Sean Dwyer of Chicago plans to run in a race that would pit him against Rep. Sonya Harper (D-Chicago).
20th Senate District:
The 20th Senate District will be a closely watched Democratic primary after a contentious appointment process that saw local Democrats select Sen. Natalie Toro (D-Chicago) to replace Cristina Pacione-Zayas over more progressive candidates. Toro is a former Chicago Public Schools teacher who will be contested by Dave Nayak, a local activist and physician, and Graciela Guzman, who worked in Pacione-Zayas’ office and now is an organizer for the Chicago Teachers Union. Guzman was backed by progressives for Pacione-Zayas’ seat and launched her campaign Tuesday.
“From a young age, I had no choice but to become the advocate my family and community needed,” Guzman said in a statement. “I am proud to fight everyday for issues that are life and death and challenge systems that enable them.”
28th House District:
Republican Brian Skala of Crestwood plans to run in a race that would pit him against Rep. Bob Rita (D-Blue Island). Skala is a plumber and member of the Crestwood Village Board who describes himself as a former Democrat who has shifted toward the Republican Party over the last decade.
31st House District:
Democrat Mark Hamberlin of Chicago plans to run in a race that would pit him against Rep. Mary Flowers (D-Chicago). Flowers is the longest-tenured lawmaker in Illinois. Hamberlin is a member of a local police district council in Chicago.
36th House District:
Republican Christine McGovern of Oak Lawn plans to run in a race that would pit her against Rep. Kelly Burke (D-Evergreen Park).
40th House District:
Republican Patrycja Karlin of Chicago plans to run in a race that would pit her against Rep. Jaime Andrade (D-Chicago). Karlin is an attorney who ran against Pacione-Zayas in 2022.
51st House District:
Republican Tosi Ufodike of Hawthorn Woods plans to run in a race that would pit her against Rep. Nabeela Syed (D-Inverness). Ufodike is an Ela Township trustee.
52nd House District:
Democrat Maria Peterson of Barrington plans to run in a race that would pit her against Rep. Martin McLaughlin (R-Barrington Hills). Peterson narrowly lost a race to Sen. Dan McConchie (R-Hawthorn Woods) in 2022.
53rd Senate District:
Republican Chris Balkema of Channahon plans to run in a race to replace Sen. Tom Bennett (R-Gibson City), who announced he will not run for reelection. Balkema works for Caterpillar and is the Grundy County Board chair.
54th House District:
Republican Michele Hunter of Arlington Heights plans to run in a race to replace Rep. Mary Beth Canty (D-Arlington Heights). Hunter lost to Canty in 2022.
76th House District:
Democrat Murri Briel of Ottawa plans to run to replace Rep. Lance Yednock (D-Ottawa), who announced he will not run for reelection. Briel is Yednock’s chief of staff.
79th House District:
Two Democrats plan to run in a race that would pit the winner against Rep. Jackie Haas (R-Bourbonnais). Larry Kerkstra of Bradley is a member of the Kankakee County Board and Genevra Walters of Kankakee is the superintendent at Kankakee County School District 111.
80th House District:
Republican Adam Beaty of Braidwood plans to run in a race that would pit him against Rep. Anthony DeLuca (D-Chicago Heights). Beaty is a Reed Township trustee in Will County and a Braidwood police officer.
82nd House District:
Republican Nicole La Ha Zwiercan of Homer Glen plans to run in a race to replace Rep. John Egofske (R-Lemont). Egofske, who replaced former House Minority Leader Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs) earlier this year, announced on Wednesday he will not run for reelection. Egofske is also mayor of Lemont. La Ha Zwiercan is a Homer Glen trustee, the 2022 Mrs. America and is currently a communications staffer for the Senate Republicans.
“People here and across the state deserve more leaders who will fight for families, ensure parental rights and input, and make Illinois more affordable so taxpayers can keep more of their hard-earned money,” La Ha Zwiercan said in a statement. “I have a heart for service and I care deeply about our community which is why I am stepping up to run.”
88th House District:
Republicans Chuck Erickson of Bloomington and Regan Deering of Decatur are expected to face off in a closely watched primary to fill the seat of retiring Rep. Dan Caulkins (R-Decatur). Deering lost a race for Congress in 2022 and Erickson is a member of the McLean County Board.
91st House District:
Republican Desi Anderson of Carlock plans to run in a race that would pit her against Sharon Chung (D-Bloomington). Anderson is a small business owner and lost to Sen. Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) in 2022.
“Springfield has gone away from the common sense, freedom focused solutions that so many of our neighbors believe in, and want to see reflected in their government,” Anderson said in a statement. “Instead, out of touch lawmakers fail to consider the working families, farmers, and future generations when voting on legislation significant to our livelihood.”
97th House District:
Republican Gabby Shanahan of Joliet plans to run in a race that would pit her against Rep. Harry Benton (D-Plainfield). Shanahan works as an executive assistant at the Illinois Policy Institute, serves as a member of the Kendall County Board of Health and worked for Scott Gryder’s campaign for Congress in 2022.
107th House District:
Republican Marsha Webb of Macon plans to run in a race that would pit her against Rep. Brad Halbrook (R-Shelbyville).
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