With cloud of Madigan indictment overhead, candidates file to get on Illinois primary ballot

With cloud of Madigan indictment overhead, candidates file to get on Illinois primary ballot

SPRINGFIELD, IL — The cloud of corruption in Illinois politics is hard to shake as hundreds of candidates looking to be in front of voters for the June 28 primary election file their nominating petitions.

Less than a week after federal prosecutors handed down a 22-count indictment against former Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan and what they called the “Madigan Enterprise,” the filing period for Democrats and Republicans to get on the primary ballot opened Monday.

Madigan faces charges ranging from racketeering to bribery in a scheme prosecutors allege lasted nearly a decade. Madigan has denied any wrongdoing and is expected to be arranged in federal court Wednesday.

Nearly 500 politicians filed nominating petitions with the Illinois State Board of Elections Monday.

Among the statewide offices up for grabs in November is the governor’s seat, but first up is the June 28 primary election for Republicans and Democrats.

Incumbent Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker turned in petitions Monday morning to the Illinois State Board of Elections in Springfield.

“I have worked hard to make sure that we’re introducing and getting passed ethics reforms for the state,” Pritzker said when asked about last week’s indictment of Madigan. “We did that in 2019 and 2021. There’s more to do, no doubt about it.”

It’s unclear if Pritzker will have a primary opponent as the filing period wraps up March 14. Chicago-area nurse Beverly Miles has said she plans to challenge Pritzker but had not filed petitions as of Monday afternoon. 

There are a slew of Republicans vying to get the GOP nomination for the June primary. Among them is Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin. He said Madigan’s indictment was long coming and more needs to be done to end the culture of corruption in Illinois.

“It’s going to be a good day for Illinois when we get rid of all the corruption that has plagued our state for decades,” Irvin said.

Other Republicans filing for the GOP gubernatorial nomination Monday are state Sen. Darren Bailey, R-Xenia, former state Sen. Paul Schimpf, R-Waterloo, and suburban businessman Gary Rabine.

Filing nominating petitions for statehouse Democrats, House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch, D-Hillside, was asked about the indictment of his predecessor.

“I’ve said all along that I think the proper forum for the issues with our former speaker is the court of law and that process is going to play itself out,” Welch said.

Also on hand, House Minority Leader Jim Durkin, R-Western Springs, helped file petitions for House Republicans to get on the ballot. He said he’ll work to make voters fully aware of the cloud of corruption in Illinois politics.

“Last week was a very, very convincing blow to the Democrats,” Durkin said. “I don’t know how they could recover, but the fact is my job is to educate everybody about what Democrats, Pritzker, Madigan and Welch have done statewide.”

Other offices politicians filed for include secretary of state, attorney general, treasurer and comptroller.

There are also filings for circuit court seats.

Three people filed to run for U.S. Senate. Democratic incumbent, U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth, filed for the primary election. Republicans Peggy Hubbard and Casey Chlebek also filed to get on the ballot.

An entire list of candidates that are filing can be found at the Illinois State Board of Elections website.

After the filing period ends March 14, challenges to nominating petitions can be taken up.

The June 28 primary ballot will be certified by the state elections board April 21.

Non-established political parties start circulating petitions for the November election April 13 with filing between July 5-11.

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