SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WMBD) — As of Tuesday morning, nearly 500 candidates had filed petitions at the Illinois State Board of Elections.

WMBD interviewed more than 15 candidates Monday morning for the kickoff of the State’s filing period. The doors opened at 8 a.m., but some candidates and their campaigns had been camping out all morning. Some said they had been there since Friday and Saturday.

Monday, we focused on the race for governor and Secretary of State. WMBD’s Matt Sheehan interviewed Gov.J.B. Pritzker (D-Illinois), as well as three GOP gubernatorial candidates, Gary Rabine, Paul Schimpf, and Darren Bailey.

Richard Irvin was reached out to for an interview, but his campaign did not respond. Jesse Sullivan’s camp told Sheehan he would not be filing his petitions on Monday.

Sheehan also spoke with three Secretary of State candidates. Chicago City Clerk Anna Valencia (D-IL), Chicago Alderman David Moore (D-IL), and State Representative Dan Brady (R-IL).

Comments from these candidates can be viewed in the link below.

Congress: IL-17

In Congress, two races central Illinoisans will be voting on this June during the primaries are for the 13th and 17th Districts. Sheehan interviewed Republican Esther Joy King and Democrat Dr. Litesa Wallace about filing their petitions and also heard their response to the situation in Ukraine.

Esther Joy King (R)

“Collecting signatures on petitions is my favorite part of the entire process of running for Congress because I get to talk directly with so many voters,” Esther Joy King said. “I get to go to their doorsteps and ask what matters to them. We’ve gotten over 2,000 signatures, which to me, is just an honor. I’m humbled that I have so much support. Today is what democracy is all about.”

Dr. Litesa Wallace (D)

“It was the two coldest months out of the year we were circulating petitions, but Elizabeth Lindquist and so many others stepped up to get out, knock on doors, have events, and make sure we had the signatures needed to get on the ballot,” Wallace said.

Here’s what each candidate had to say about what the Illinois 17th District’s biggest issue is, and how they plan to address the issue.

Dr. Litesa Wallace (D)

“Our district needed someone in D.C. who could speak to the experiences of working-class people,” Wallace said. “I’m a single mom who also has legislative experience. I felt like those two things together would make me a great candidate for Congress. The Pandemic has really devastated so many small businesses. We have to focus on reinvesting in those businesses, reinvesting in our healthcare infrastructure, and thinking about how do we prepare for things like a global pandemic?”

Esther Joy King (R)

“Democrat, Independent, or Republican right now; people are upset. They’re not happy with paying over $4 for a gallon of gas. They’re worried about buying groceries for their families. The economic concerns are on the top of everyone’s minds,” Joy King said. “They want a voice. They feel like historically, especially in a state like Illinois, we haven’t gotten strong representation in the western and northern-central parts of the State. They want someone to stand up for what they need and what they believe.”

Each candidate had a different view on how the United States has responded to the situation in Ukraine.

Esther Joy King (R)

“We need to have a strong response, particularly as it relates to the United States national security,” Joy King said. “If there are concerns that affect our country, we need to be stepping up and partnering with our allies. Overall, I think we have seen heroism from Ukraine, and we’ve seen a lack of leadership from the Biden Administration. We need better leadership in Washington, D.C. and that’s exactly why I’m running for Congress.”

Dr. Litesa Wallace (D)

“I stand with the people of Ukraine, we must do that to stand up for democracy across the globe. I do believe our state should, as it has done for many years, be a welcoming place for refugees,” Wallace said. “I believe that Biden is doing the very best that he can, given the threat of nuclear destruction.”

Congress: IL-13

WMBD also spoke with Democratic nominee David Palmer and Republican candidate Jesse Reising, who are both running for Illinois’ 13th District.

David Palmer (D)

“We’ve had a lot of heavy snow days. Other than that, it’s been good. We have a lot of signatures we’re here to turn in today. We feel really good about this process. We got to talk to a lot of voters and really enjoyed this process,” Palmer said.

Jesse Reising (R)

“I’m running for Congress because the Mike Madigan machine gerrymandered a district to favor their hand-picked candidate,” Reising said. “My family’s been here for six generations. This district made me into the man I am, so I wanted to stand up for central and southern Illinois values and represent the people of this district.”

Reising said the people in Illinois’ 13th Congressional District really care about “kitchen-table issues.”

Jesse Reising (R)

“Soaring inflation and skyrocketing crime rates,” Reising said. “President Biden as well is projecting weakness on the global stage, which is emboldening our adversaries like Russia and China to act aggressively toward us. I intend to get into Congress, get inflation under control, end these harmful defund the police efforts, and protect American strength on the global stage to keep people here at home safe.”

David Palmer (D)

Palmer said voters he had spoken to are concerned with gun violence and want their representative to focus on investing in their communities.

Reising and Palmer have different perspectives on the United States’ role in oil production.

David Palmer (D)

“I was listening to a lot of people talking about, ‘Should we start drilling here in America?’ I don’t think that’s the right plan,” Palmer said. “But we’ve got to do something to relieve the price for everyday Americans where gas is.”

Reising said he thinks the U.S. should have kept the Keystone XL Pipeline going.

Jesse Reising (R)

“We see our political leaders are shutting down the Keystone Pipeline, yet at the time, were withholding the sanctions on the Nord Stream II Pipeline for Russia. It’s like our leaders want to see America fail and our adversaries succeed. We need to increase domestic oil and gas production here in the United States,” Reising said.

Sheehan was unable to meet with Democratic nominee Nikki Budzinski Monday morning but has a statement from her below.

Nikki Budzinski (D)

“The number of signatures we collected sends a clear signal about the kind of campaign I am going to run: a grassroots, issue-focused campaign where we show up and talk to voters in every county and every town in IL-13. I am tremendously grateful to the 120 volunteers that helped circulate our petitions and am thankful for your trust. I’m excited to be on the ballot and look forward to meeting voters in the 13th District over the next few months,” Budzinski said.

Budzinski was also a guest on Sheehan’s segment, On the Record, in September. That interview can be viewed below.

This interview was done before the new legislative maps were drawn. Budzinski was then supposed to challenge Rep. Rodney Davis for the 13th District. Rep. Davis is now running in the IL-15 District.

Illinois’ 105th State Rep. District

Multiple candidates for Illinois’ 105th District showed up Monday morning. Sheehan spoke first thing in the morning with GOP candidates Donald Rients and Dennis Tipsword.

Donald Rients (R)

“I wanted to protect the rights of our people. We’ve got a governor that runs by fiat, and I had enough of that. The seat, when they redrew the district, they got rid of our state rep, which was a decent rep, and there was an open seat. I don’t want business as usual, I want a change,” Rients said.

Tipsword echoed what many candidates said all morning long: that weather was the biggest challenge this petition period.

Dennis Tipsword (R)

“Always tough weather this time of the year. Then we had COVID on top of that. There were a lot fewer opportunities. But ya know, it’s a necessary process, and we just had to find our way through it,” Tipsword said.

Rients said he uses his money to run his campaign.

Donald Rients (R)

“I don’t want money from other politicians running. I don’t want money from other special organizations,” Rients said. “I get out there, and I’m going to fight for the people. I’m not going to be driven by other folks, and I won’t change my mind on issues. I’m solid. What I say is what I’ll do.”

Sheehan spoke with Tipsword in-studio for an interview early this year. That interview can be viewed below.

Kyle Ham is also running for the IL-105 District. An interview Sheehan conducted with Ham can be seem below.

Illinois’ 87th District: Mary Burress files petitions

Tazewell County Treasurer Mary Burress is looking to make a change in her career.

She has been the treasurer since 2011. She said she is ready to join the statehouse and make decisions she thinks will benefit the district.

Mary Burress (R)

“I’ve been on the receiving end of all the mandates and legislative votes that have come down. Made taxes raise, harmed businesses, I want to be on the other end. I want to be the person to go and fight and have that strong voice to stand up for what is right for Illinois,” Burress said.

She said crime is a big topic that voters are concerned about this election cycle.

“It’s filtering into our quiet, little neighborhoods,” Burress said. “With the passing of the SAFE-T bill, people are very disappointed that violence is coming into our quiet, little communities.”

Burress said her late husband was a police officer in the City of Pekin, so she will always “back the blue.”

“They have served and protected us forever, and we need to protect them now. We need to fund the police instead of even talking about defunding the police,” Burress said. “It’s horrible.”

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