SPRINGFIELD (The Center Square) – There could be a third-party candidate on the ballot for various statewide offices with a slate of Libertarians filing nominating petitions in Illinois.
The Democrats and Republicans had their primary late last month. The winner from those party primaries heads to the November elections.
Monday was the final day that non-established, independent or new party candidates had to file their petitions. Their signature threshold to get on the ballot is much higher than for the Republicans or Democrats.
The higher petitioning threshold is “not a mistake”
Libertarian gubernatorial candidate Scott Schluter said that’s not a mistake.
“That obviously is not a flaw in the system, but it is intended by design,” Schluter told The Center Square. “The way they have these ballot access requirements is intended to have their stranglehold on everything.”
One example Illinois State Board of Elections spokesman Matt Dietrich gave is that established party candidates needed 3,250 signatures to get on the ballot for a statewide office. New party or independent candidates must get 25,000.
“The thinking behind the statute that set those is that you want to make sure since these candidates are going to go directly onto the November ballot, you want to make sure that you have legitimate candidates, candidates who have some degree of support, so that you don’t end up with 50 candidates in the governor’s race or more,” Dietrich told The Center Square.
A look at the Libertarian Party of Illinois slate
Other Libertarians that filed before Monday evening’s deadline were Lt. Gov. candidate John Phillips, Treasurer candidate Preston Nelson, Attorney General candidate Daniel Robin, and Comptroller candidate Deirdre McCloskey.
What will likely be an interesting case is that of Libertarian Secretary of State Candidate Jesse White, the same name as the outgoing longtime Democratic office holder.
There’s also a Libertarian U.S. Senate candidate in Bill Redpath.
The candidates could face challenges to their nominating petitions if brought before the state elections board.
No Illinois Green Party candidate filers
Notably, there were no Green Party candidates that filed for statewide office.
Schluter said without a Green Party gubernatorial candidate, that will make it a three-way race allowing him to draw votes from Republicans who want access to abortion but also want access to firearms.
“And as well as the opposite with the left, because there are plenty of left-wings that don’t like J.B. Pritzker and that are very pro-gun and they just can’t stand anything else that Republicans put out there,” Schluter said. “So, really I have the ability to take the goods from either side of the aisle and throw out the rest and I think that really puts me in a unique position to really reach a lot of voters.”
There are various other independent and other-partisan candidates that have filed for seats in Congress.
Greg Bishop reports on Illinois government and other issues for The Center Square. Bishop has years of award-winning broadcast experience and hosts the WMAY Morning Newsfeed out of Springfield.