SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (NEXSTAR) — Matt Dietrich likened the first day of the petition filing period to the kickoff of the NFL season.
Candidates from all over the state came to the State Board of Elections to file their petitions. A total of 475 candidates were in line before 8 am.
Dietrich, a spokesperson for the Illinois State Board of Elections, has seen the line outside of the building plenty of times, but the energy is always the same.
“If you have four candidates running in your race, we do a drawing to determine who appears first, second, third, fourth, fifth on the ballot in the primary,” Dietrich said. “So if you’re in line at 8am, you have a shot at being listed first on the ballot.”
That ballot placement was the prize for those competing in a crowded republican gubernatorial primary. Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin, State Senator Darren Bailey, former State Senator Paul Schimpf and asphalt tycoon Gary Rabine all filed their petitions today, officially putting their names on the ballot. Jesse Sullivan did not file his petitions Monday, but a campaign spokesperson said he does plan on filing them within the week.
“Under J.B. Pritzker crime is out of control, taxes and wasteful spending is out of control, corruption is out of control. ” Irvin said before filing his petitions. “We need a new direction in the state.”
As the primary race comes to a head in June, Republican primary candidates will key in on several topics, including crime, corruption, and what they call wasteful spending by the state.
Monday, Schimpf took aim at opponents like Darren Bailey for stoking fear and outrage during his campaign.
“I offer the people of Illinois solutions instead of outrage,” Schimpf said. “You know, the missing ingredient is leadership. We need leaders that can listen to the people of Illinois learn in and lead our state in a manner that brings us together.”
“People are outraged and people are scared people are moving out of the state people are pulling their children out of school at a public school,” Bailey said in response to Schimpf. “IWhat’s the other thing that you would do, what would it be it would be to stick with the status quo. Status quo is not working.”
Pritzker also filed today, as democrats face another corruption scandal with the indictment of longtime House Speaker Michael Madigan.
“I’m just glad, though, that whenever there’s anybody is breaking the law is doing something that they shouldn’t be doing not standing up or should have to go,” Pritzker said.
Republicans are gearing up to hit democrats on corruption.
“We’re gonna win this primary and when we do we’re gonna we’re gonna go after this corruption Illinois like nobody has,” Rabine said. “We need to reform the state to do the same thing over and over for decades. It’s not working out so well.”
The primary is scheduled for June 28th.