News Local/State

Running For Office? Time Is Running Out

Monday is the last day candidates can file to run for office in Illinois in 2018.

Monday is the last day candidates can file to run for office in Illinois in 2018. Wikimedia Commons/CC BY 2.0

Monday is the last day to submit petitions to run for office in Illinois next year. There are several people who’ve said they’re running for high profile offices, but who have not yet turned in paperwork.

The biggest question is at the top of the ticket: Will Governor Bruce Rauner be challenged in the Republican primary?

State Rep. Jeanne Ives has been circulating petitions, and says she’ll file her paperwork Monday afternoon.

Down the ballot, no one has yet filed for the statewide offices of comptroller or treasurer, including incumbent Democrats Susana Mendoza and Mike Frerichs.

Last week, I asked Board of Elections attorney Ken Menzel whether people ever rush in to file at the last minute.

“Yes, on occasion, you see that guy who’s — the car roars up into the parking lot, and he jumps out, and he’s got this whole pile of papers in his hand, and he’s running, waving, to keep the door — ‘Don’t close the door on me!’” Menzel says.

There can be an advantage to filing last — research has shown that, at least in crowded, lower-profile races, people listed last on the ballot — like those listed first — tend to get a little more of the vote than those in the middle.

Menzel says running it's popular enough that they've instituted a lottery for last place.

It's open to everyone who shows up in the last hour of filing, “to avoid the Alphone (and) Gastone routine between two of them as the clock ticks down … ‘After you,’ 'No after you,’ 'But I insist,’ 'But I insist more than you insist.'"