Although a flurry of last-minute candidates promises to make the 2010 election interesting, the 8th Congressional District race might yet again be the race to watch.
The field of Republican candidates seeking to unseat Democratic incumbent Melissa Bean grew to six Monday, the last day that candidates had to file petitions for the February primary. Bean has a primary opponent as well, and a traditional Bean nemesis is posing a challenge on the Green Party ticket.
Republican candidates Gregory Jacobs of Mundelein and Joe Walsh of Winnetka have joined the race to reclaim a district that was GOP territory for three decades until Bean’s 2004 upset victory. Woodstock resident Jonathan Farnick filed a petition to run as a Democrat against Bean.
Also joining the race Monday was Lindenhurst resident Bill Scheurer, who will run on the Green Party ticket.
This is Scheurer’s third attempt to win the seat under as many parties – he lost to Bean in the 2004 Democratic primary and created the Moderate Party to run for the seat in 2006. Scheurer’s wife, Randi, unsuccessfully ran against Bean in the 2008 Democratic primary.
Incumbent 16th Congressional District Rep. Don Manzullo, a Republican from Egan, also will have competition in his quest for a 10th term. Freeport Mayor George Gaulrapp filed as a Democratic challenger, as did Green candidate Terry Campbell of Rockford.
Manzullo’s Green opponent in the 2008 election, Harvard resident and former McHenry County College trustee Scott Summers, filed Friday for the Green nomination for state treasurer.
Eight Republicans, seven Democrats, and one Green candidate are in the race to replace Democratic U.S. Sen. Roland Burris, shunned in Washington for accepting appointment to the Senate by disgraced former Gov. Rod Blagojevich.
The field for governor is similarly crowded, with seven Republicans, four Democrats, and two Greens in the running.
The GOP Senate hopefuls will not include Richmond resident Ed Varga, who announced on his blog over the weekend that he was abandoning his grass-roots campaign. Varga, vice president of the McHenry County Board of Health, hinted that he might run in November 2010 as an independent candidate.
In state races, McHenry resident John O’Neill filed as a Republican on Monday to run against 63rd Representative District incumbent Jack Franks, D-Marengo. Franks, whose political fortunes rose with Blagojevich’s fall, seriously had considered running for governor, but decided against it.
Five more Republican candidates filed Monday for McHenry County Board: Cary resident Robert Nowak for District 1, Crystal Lake residents Ellen Brady Mueller and Sandra DePaul for District 2, Crystal Lake resident F. “Craig” Steagall for District 3, and Woodstock resident David Frederick for District 5.
The last-minute additions means that GOP primaries for County Board will be contested in five out of its six districts. Three of the districts have five candidates running for the two primary positions each.
Only three Democratic candidates have filed for County Board, compared with seven in the 2008 primary. But after the primary, the party may caucus to appoint candidates for the November 2010 election.