Throughout the process after announcing his candidacy for Secretary of State, Grundy County State’s Attorney Jason Helland thought he would have an opponent in the primary.
But he found out that after filing his petitions Monday afternoon to run for the state office, he will be the only Republican in the race. J.C. Griffin did not file before the 5 p.m. deadline.
“We kept waiting, waiting, waiting,” Helland said of Griffin potentially filing a petition. “It’s going to be interesting.”
Especially if incumbent Democrat Jesse White decides to retire before the election, which he has hinted at before but still filed petitions to run.
Helland, who believes he’s the first Grundy County politician to run for a statewide office since Gov. William Stratton in the 1950s, said the past two months have been a whirlwind as his team has collected more than the 5,000 required signatures and visited 18 counties.
He said that he is running to win – and not having a primary opponent doesn’t change his strategy.
White and fellow Democrat Michael Hastings of Tinley Park filed petitions to run for the office.
“It’s my belief that Jesse White is going to retire,” Helland said.
Helland believes his background, spending 14 years in the Kankakee and Grundy prosecutor’s offices and spending 7½ years teaching at the University of St. Francis, helping to start the criminal justice program, will be useful in his campaign and ability to do the job.
“I like the campaigning side of things,” Helland said. “I think, once you start campaigning, it becomes a lifestyle. In the last year, I had a lot of downtime. ... I look forward to the challenge. I think Illinois is worth fighting for.”
Republican Heidi Henry of Marseilles filed for a 38th District state Senate seat currently held by Republican Sue Rezin, R-Morris.
In Grundy County, Republican Loria Werden and Democrat Timothy Bradley have filed for county treasurer. Kay T. Olson is the only county clerk candidate, while Republicans Jason Flanders and Ken Briley filed to run to face incumbent Democrat Kevin M. Callahan.
Republican Elton Monson filed to join Democrat Ken Iverson and Republicans Drew Muffler, Don Neushwander Jr., David Valdivia and Millie Dyer for the District 1 County Board seat.
Republicans Greg Ridenour, Chris Balkema and Deb Warning along with Democrat John Serena are running for District 2 seats, while Republicans Caleb Counterman and Douglas Boresi and Democrats Mike Onorato and Jake Olson are running in District 3.
Grundy County has three districts with three seats open in each.
In Will County, Democrat Katrina Deutsche-Vaclavik filed to run for Will County Board District 1, joining fellow Democrats Bob Howard and Laurie Summers and Republican Judy Ogalla.
Republican Debbie Militello filed to run for District 6 along with fellow Republicans Don Gould and Joe VanDuyne.
Democrat Kyle P. Killacky filed to run for District 7 joining Republicans Stephen Balich and Mike Fricilone.
Democrats Danganetta, Norbert Likar and Sherry Williams filed for District 9 joining Republican Annette Parker and Democrats Jim Murphy, Todd C. Randich and Rachel Ventura.
Republicans Kathy Havel and Julie Anne Berkowicz filed to run in District 11 joining Republicans Chuck Maher and Suzanne Hart and Democrat Mimi Cowan.
Former longtime prosecutor in the Will County State’s Attorney’s Office Dan Walsh did not file to run for Will County circuit court judge. Republican Ben Braun and Democrats David Garcia, Moira K. Dunn and Daniel O’Connell are running for the 12th Circuit.
Walsh said he resigned from his job in the Will County State’s Attorney’s Office to run for the position.
For Congress, Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Chicago, filed on Monday to run again for his seat representing the 1st Congressional District, which includes all or parts of Elwood, Frankfort, Manhattan, Mokena and New Lenox. Rush will face a primary challenge from Howard B. Brookins Jr. Republican Jimmy Lee Tillman II filed to run as a Republican.
Incumbent Rep. Dan Lipinski, D-Western Springs, will now officially have a primary challenger in Marie Newman for his seat representing the 3rd Congressional District, which includes Homer Glen, Lemont, Lockport and Romeoville. Arthur J. Jones filed to run for the seat as a Republican.
Rep. Bill Foster, D-Naperville, will not be facing a primary opponent. Two Republicans, Nick Stella and Constant G. “Connor” Vlakancic, filed to represent the 11th District, which includes all or parts of Bolingbrook, Joliet, New Lenox and Shorewood.