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Local News

What you need to know about the 2018 primary elections in Will County

Residents to vote on federal, state and local offices

Will County residents may or may not have noticed there is an election coming up on March 20.

Primary elections are held to determine who the nominees of both the Republican and Democratic parties will be for the general election in November. Generally, turnout for primary elections are relatively low compared to Presidential elections.

In the 2016 primary election, out of 396,560 registered voters in Will County, 177,799 voters actually cast a ballot, a 44.84 percent voter turnout. By contrast, in the general election that year, out of 411,240 registered voters in the county, 306,410 of them came out to the polls, a turnout rate of 74.5 percent.

Still, there are times in which primary elections could be more interesting than the general, so it's worth paying attention to them. So for those who are not political junkies, here is a rundown of what you need to know about the 2018 primary elections in Will County.


At the federal level in midterm elections, every single one of the 435 members of the House of Representatives and approximately one-third of the 100 members of the Senate is up for election.

In Illinois, neither Sen. Tammy Duckworth nor Sen. Dick Durbin are up for re-election.

In the House, different parts of Will County are represented by six different members.

Bobby Rush, D-Chicago, represents the 1st District, which encompasses all or parts of towns like New Lenox, Mokena, Frankfort, Elwood and Manhattan.

Robin Kelly, D-Chicago, represents the 2nd District, which includes towns like Monee, Crete, Beecher, Peotone, Wilton and University Park.

Dan Lipinski, D-Western Springs, represents the 3rd District which includes Lockport, Romeoville, Crest Hill, Homer Glen and Lemont.

Bill Foster, D-Naperville, represents the 11th District which encompasses all or parts of Joliet, Bolingbrook, New Lenox and Shorewood.

Randy Hultgren, R-Plano, represents the 14th District which stretches down to include parts of Plainfield.

Adam Kinzinger, R-Channahon, represents the 16th District which contains all or parts of Channahon, Minooka, Wilmington, Braidwood and Coal City.

For the Democrats, Rush and Foster are running unopposed. Kelly is being challenged by Marcus Lewis, a postal service worker and minister who also ran and lost against Kelly in 2016. Lipinski is facing a tough challenge from the left in businesswoman Marie Newman.

For the Republicans, Hultgren is running unopposed and Kinzinger is facing a primary challenge from pro-Trump businessman Jim Marter.

Pretty much every district is either solidly red or blue so the general elections might not be all that interesting in comparison to the primaries.


At the state level, the six senate seats in Will County have at the most one candidate for each party running. There is no Republican running for the 15th, 17th or 42nd Districts against the Democratic incumbents.

In the General Assembly, there is only one competitive race on the Republican side between incumbent Jim Durkin and Mickey Straub in the 82nd District which contains parts of Homer Glen and Lemont.

The Democrats have three competitive races. Incumbent Thaddeus Jones is going up against Corean Davis in District 29, which is on the far east side of the county. Max Solomon, Debbie Meyers-Martin, Cecil Matthews Jr. and David Bonner all vying to represent the 38th District which contains parts of Frankfort and Park Forest. Tom Chlystek and Elyse Hoffenberg are running to go up against the Republican nominee to represent the 82nd District.


The most notable local race is for the Will County Clerk's office now that longtime Clerk Nancy Schultz Voots isn't running for re-election.

Will County Board member Lauren Staley-Ferry, D-Joliet, is going up against Lockport Township Clerk Denise Mushro-Rumchak. The Herald-News reported in December on felony forgery charges Staley-Ferry faced in 2003 in Arizona, which were later dropped after she had left the state to eventually settled back in her hometown of Joliet.

Both Staley-Ferry and Mushro-Rumchak have received multiple endorsements and their campaigns have been putting out signs all over the county. Laurie McPhillips is the sole Republican running in the clerk's race.

On the Will County Board, there are three districts with competitive races.

Republicans Gretchen Fritz and Darren Bennefield will be running in District 5. Republicans Don Gould and Debbie Mililtello are running in District 6. In District 9 in Joliet, which Staley-Ferry current represents, there is perhaps the widest Democratic field vying for votes between Rachel Ventura, Todd Randich, Jim Murphy, Sherry Williams and Danganetta Harris.

The deadline to register to vote has passed. Those who want to find out where to vote early can visit for specific locations, dates and times for your area.

If you want to vote by mail, the last day to request a mail ballot is 4:30 p.m. March 15. You can request a mail ballot at the Will County Clerk's website as well. Mailed ballots must be postmarked by midnight on Mar. 20 to be counted.

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