Politicians start collecting signatures as Illinois election season officially kicks off

Craig Wall Image
Tuesday, September 5, 2023
Illinois election season officially kicks off
Politicians are preparing for the 2024 Illinois Primary Election, but interest outside of the 2024 Presidential Election may not pick up for months.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- This weekend represented the unofficial end of summer, but now, a new season is upon us.

Tuesday is the official kickoff to the 2024 political season. Candidates began the work of getting on the ballot for next spring's primary election.

Voters may not be thinking a lot about the 2024 election right now, since it is still 14 months away, but many politicians are.

Tuesday marked the first day they could start collecting petition signatures to get on the ballot. A number of Latino elected officials were looking for support at an Orange Line stop on the city's Southwest Side.

"We'll be out knocking on doors every single day until December 4 to make sure that we continue to hear our voters and fight for our communities," said State Rep. Aaron Ortiz.

Chicago area Democrats hope to capitalize on the Democratic National Convention coming to the city next summer to drive enthusiasm for their party's candidates.

"Democrats are hoping to retake a majority, and, of course, 2024 will be an exciting year for Chicago, and Chicago and Illinois will host the Democratic National Convention," said U.S. Rep. Chuy Garcia.

SEE ALSO | DNC Chicago: Officials outline plans for 2024 Democratic National Convention

The economy is expected to be a key issue for voters.

"Right now, I think people are feeling like this economy is stable, but that could change. There has been fears of a recession for a while there's fears about inflation. So, I think that's going to be top of mind with a lot of voters," said ABC7 Political Analyst Laura Washington.

The migrant crisis is also expected to be a significant issue, as is crime, which will factor into the race to replace Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx.

Cook County state's attorney candidate Clayton Harris III, who got the Democratic Party endorsement, gathered signatures downtown on Tuesday. He will be facing former Judge Eileen O'Neil Burke in what will be a closely-watched race.

"I think that folks are interested in the race. Everyone is concerned about safety and justice," Harris said.

With all of the Illinois State House seats in play this year, Republicans are hoping to increase their numbers.

"Obviously, our number one goal is keeping the 40 seats that we have," said House Republican Leader Tony McCombie. "There was several seats that we barely lost, and we will be targeting those first."

Candidates have 90 days to gather signatures to get on the ballot. But, interest in races outside of the presidential contest may not pick up until after the first of the year.