Eye On Illinois: Interested in running for local office? Start planning now


Last month I encouraged readers to visit the Illinois Association of School Boards to read a document about how those bodies function as a means of inspiring candidates and informing voters. While that prompted one reader to write about the failure of government schools, another asked for a followup piece on running campaigns for other local offices, noting such efforts are simpler than bids for statewide office and don’t need to depend on established political parties.

Fortunately, the State Board of Elections handles that task quite well, consistently publishing handy guides for anyone seeking office. The newest version went live Friday, the 2023 Candidate’s Guide, which “includes a listing of the offices to be nominated or elected, filing dates, general requirements for filing and specific requirements for individual offices. In addition, information is provided regarding nomination procedures and the objection process, as well as a section that provides answers to some of the more frequently asked questions about nominating petitions and procedures.”

Scott T. Holland

Scott T. Holland

In other words, if you’ve complained enough about a stoplight in town or the overdue fines on library books that your friends routinely say “well why don’t you DO something about it?” then this is the roadmap. Visit elections.il.gov, click on “running for office” and find the guide under “documents.”

The consolidated primary is Feb. 28, in communities where required, and the election itself is April 4. The statewide focus of this column makes it impossible to track races across so many jurisdictions, but local elections often are more impactful on a community level than the November contests that draw more attention and money, and countless candidates for higher office get their start as a village trustee or school board member.

ON THIS DAY: It’s the 110th birthday of one of Taylorville’s most famous sons. Born Aug. 30, 1912, Edward Purcell was one of three Harvard University researchers to discover nuclear magnetic resonance in 1946, which is the basis for magnetic resonance imaging, a ubiquitous diagnostic tool that exponentially improved health outcomes in the later 20th century. Purcell shared the 1952 Nobel Prize in physics. But he’s not the first Illinois native to be so honored – that distinction goes to Robert Millikan, born in Morrison in 1868.

We drove through Morrison Saturday en route to kayak the Maquoketa River, near the Iowa town where Millikan attended high school. The Department of Natural Resources maintains quality launch points, and the quiet paddle on a public river evoked a recent Shaw Media report on the future of Illinois waterway access following a June Supreme Court ruling.

I wrote then about Justice P. Scott Neville encouraging lawmakers to craft legislation promoting public access and continue to hope they heed his advice.

Scott T. Holland writes about state government issues for Shaw Media. Follow him on Twitter @sth749. He can be reached at sholland@shawmedia.com.

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August 30, 2022 at 05:08AM

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