GOP governor race big draw in unusual summer primary

For The Weekly Post

The race to run against Gov. JB Pritzker is one of the hottest in Illinois’ unusual summer primary being held Tuesday, June 28. Against a backdrop of concern about limited knowledge of the primary hurting turnout, six men are vying to be GOP candidate for governor when the general election is held on Nov. 8.

Recent polls for the Republican race show state Sen. Darren Bailey, a farmer from Xenia, has pulled ahead of Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin after trailing a few weeks earlier. Both candidates have benefited from mega-donor funding: Bailey receiving a reported $9 million from Richard Uihlein and Irvin getting $50 million from Ken Griffin.

Pritzker and the Democractic Governors Association, meanwhile, have spent $34 million to boost Bailey in the Republican primary, according to

No other race in the primary has generated that much spending and many elections are uncontested or have no candidates on the local level.
Two competitive local races are covered in this edition: Peoria County Sheriff (Page 1) and state representative in the 93rd district.

In Peoria County, Rep. Darin LaHood faces three foes in the Republican Congressional primary: retired Rockford engineer Walt Peters, Rockford attorney JoAnne Guillemette and Minooka business owner Michael Rebresh.

And Sen. Win Stoller of Germantown Hills is on the ballot for northeastern Peoria County voters in a newly drawn 37th Senate District. After serving one term, Stoller faces a challenge from businessman Brett S. Nicklaus of Dixon, who has not previously held elected office.

Knox County sheriff is also a contested race on the Democratic side, where former Deputy Douglas Sampson and Williamsfield Police Chief James Robertson are competing to face Republican Jack Harlan, a Knox County detective and K9 handler. Also running as an independent is Zachary A. Cox, a deputy with the Knox County Sheriff’s Auxiliary and a community service officer with the Galesburg Police Department.

Also in Knox County, voters will chose on the Democrat ballot between Knox County Public Defender David M. Hansen of Galesburg and attorney Jim Harrell of Rio to fill a vacancy as a Judge of the Circuit Court for the Ninth Judicial Circuit. Hansen is recommended choice of the Illinois State Bar Association.

Ballots also show contested races for precinct committeeperson and for state central committeeperson positions. Otherwise, the main choices voters have are for the following:

• U.S. Senate – Seven Republicans are vying to run against incumbent Sen. Tammy Duckworth in November: Casey Chlebek, Peggy Hubbard, Robert Piton, Jimmy Lee Tillman II, Anthony M. Williams, Kathy Salvi and Matthew Dubiel.

• Congress, 17th Congressional District – Esther Joy King and Charles Helmick Jr. face off on the Republican ballot and six are vying to be the Democratic candidate to replace Cherie Bustos: Angie Normoyle, Eric Sorensen, Litesa Wallace, Marsha Williams, Jacqueline McGowan and Jonathan H. Logemann.

• Illinois Attorney General – Three Republicans seek to face Democrat Kwame Raoul. Candidates are Steve Kim, David Shestokas and Thomas G. DeVore.

• Illinois Secretary of State – Democrats Alexi Giannoulias (former state treasurer), David H. Moore, Chicago city clerk Anna M. Valencia and Sidney Moore are vying for Jesse White’s longtime position. So are Republicans Dan Brady and John C. Milhiser.