The 2024 Illinois primary is here, and while no statewide offices will be on the ballot, there are plenty of races that could have a big impact on the national political scene.

Democrats will be looking to not only hold the White House, but also to avoid losing further ground in the House of Representatives during this election cycle, and several vulnerable Illinois Democrats are facing touch primary challenges this March.

So who is on the ballot in these key races? Here are the names you could see on your ballot this March.  

President

Democrats –

President Joe Biden is considered the favorite to secure nomination for a reelection bid, but three other Democratic candidates will also be on the ballot in Illinois.

Frankie Lozada, an entrepreneur, says on his campaign website that he’s planning to leverage his experience working with families seeking asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border to inform comprehensive immigration reform, and will focus on increasing opportunities for minority business owners and homeowners.

President Biden spoke at the National Institutes of Health to discuss his administration’s efforts to lower prescription drug costs

Author Marianne Williamson, who launched an unsuccessful bid for president in 2020, is also running for office again in this election. Her campaign website includes extensive plans for combating climate change, spearheading new protections for children in the United States, and launching a massive plan to overhaul the healthcare system in the United States, focusing on root causes of health issues while also providing treatment options for all Americans.

Minnesota Rep. Dean Phillips appears on the ballot, but suspended his campaign and endorsed Biden.

Republicans –

There will be a total of five candidates on the Republican ballot for president in Illinois, including former President Donald Trump, who cruised to victory in the recent Iowa caucus.

Donald Trump easily won the Iowa caucuses on Monday, according to an NBC News projection.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley and Generational Group CEO Ryan Binkley have all suspended their campaigns.

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s name will appear on the ballot, but he dropped out of the race shortly before the Iowa caucus.

1st Congressional District

Democrats –

Incumbent Rep. Jonathan Jackson is running unopposed in the Democratic primary in the first district as he seeks a second term in office.

Republicans –

Marcus Lewis, an ordained minister, ran for Congress against Jackson as a Democrat during the 2022 primary cycle, but finished 11th in a crowded field in the race to replace Rep. Bobby Rush.

Lewis changed his party affiliation to Republican for the 2024 election. In a candidate survey filled out for the Chicago Sun-Times, his campaign placed a heavy emphasis on immigration concerns, proposing “mass deportations” for those in the U.S. illegally, and also called for an immediate halt to aid for Ukraine among other platform planks.

Lewis’ opponent in the Republican primary is student and activist Montelle Gaji, who has also campaigned for state representative in previous elections.

Gaji also called for an end to funding for Ukraine and to Israel in its current war against Hamas, and called for Congressional action to address the crisis of migrants being sent to Chicago, calling for immigration reform and closing border crossings in an interview with WTTW Chicago.

4th Congressional District

Democrats –

Rep. Jesús “Chuy” Garcia is running for a fourth term in Congress from the 4th district, which covers portions of the West and Northwest Sides of Chicago, as well as suburbs like Brookfield, Burbank and parts of Elmhurst.

With less than a year left until the next presidential election, NBC Chicago’s Charlie Wojciechowski takes a look into how artificial intelligence can be used in political advertising.

Garcia’s campaign website lists his priorities in office as pursuing Medicare for All, pushing for comprehensive immigration reform that includes permanent protections for DACA recipients and other paths to citizenship, and the passage of a Green New Deal to combat climate change.

Chicago Ald. Raymond Lopez represents the city’s 15th Ward, which includes parts of West Englewood, Brighton Park and Back of the Yards. A fierce critic of Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson in his role on the City Council, Lopez says his priorities will be to “seek common ground” and to raise the minimum wage if elected to Congress, according to an interview with Block Club Chicago.

He also wants to find solutions to the ongoing immigration crisis in the U.S., and to encourage fiscal responsibility in Washington.

Republicans –

There are no Republicans currently on the ballot in Illinois for this race.

6th Congressional District:

Democrats –

Rep. Sean Casten is running in a three-way primary race against Charles Hughes and Mahnoor Ahmad in the district.

Casten, a climate scientist, touts his energy and climate policies on his campaign website, arguing that the U.S. “doesn’t have to choose between protecting the planet and creating jobs.” He also details plans for comprehensive immigration reform, and is aiming to implement gun safety reform at the federal level.  

Hughes, an operations tech for Nicor, was a former precinct captain for former Rep. Dan Lipinski. He is running on a platform that pushes for a two-state solution in the ongoing conflicts in Israel, one that calls for deficit-reduction, and argues that NATO should help alleviate the inflow of asylum seekers into the United States, according to his candidate questionnaire in the Chicago Sun-Times.

Ahmad’s campaign focuses heavily on access to health care, as she is a proponent of a “Medicare for All” system in the U.S. She also argues for tuition-free college in the U.S. and for extensive student debt relief programs, and also includes proposals to expand Social Security, Medicaid and FMLA to cover maternal and child health services, according to her campaign website.

Republicans –

Republican Niki Conforti is the lone GOP candidate on the ballot in the district.

7th Congressional District

Democrats –

Incumbent Rep. Danny K. Davis was first-elected to Congress in 1996, and he is once again running for reelection in what will be a hotly-contested race.

Rep. Danny Davis, who has served in Congress for more than 40 years, faced a tough primary challenge in the 2022 race, and things could get even more crowded in the coming year, as multiple potential candidates could run to unseat him. Political Reporter Mary Ann Ahern has the details.

Davis has received high ratings from the AFL-CIO, Planned Parenthood and the National Education Association, among others, and has received endorsements from a slew of high-profile politicians, including Gov. J.B. Pritzker and others.

Nikhil Bhatia is one of four candidates seeking to knock off Davis in the Democratic primary. Bhatia, a teacher and principal, is a proponent of early-childcare funding and universal PreK at the federal level, as well as increased funding for climate change initiatives. Bhatia’s platform also includes passage of the John Lewis Voting Act and codifying abortion rights with new federal laws.

Kina Collins, who lost by just under 5,000 votes to Davis in the 2022 primary, will take another shot at the seat in Congress. An advocate against gun violence, Collins promises to pursue progressive legislation in Washington, including Medicare for All and gun control legislation, among others.

Chicago City Treasurer Melissa Conyears-Ervin is also in the race, citing her record of dismantling systemic racism in financial institutions, helping small businesses, and directing investments away from fossil fuel and gun industry interests and toward companies in the green energy space, among other platform stances.

Policy advocate Kouri Marshall, who worked for Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker, is also in the race, focused on increasing the availability of affordable homes, along with ensuring access to reproductive healthcare and eliminating billions of dollars in student loan debt. His platform also includes expanding the child tax credit and investing in after-school programs for young Americans.

Republicans –

Chad Koppie is running unopposed in the Republican primary during this election cycle. He had previously run for U.S. Senate on several occasions, and will run in the seventh district this year, focusing on eliminating the national debt, removing the federal government from the nation’s educational system, and instituting immigration reform that includes a prohibition on “sanctuary cities,” among other platform planks.

12th Congressional District

Democrats –

Two candidates will vie for the Democratic nomination in this large Congressional district, which encompasses large swaths of southern and eastern Illinois.

Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley said she will not debate without front-runner Donald Trump after his decisive victory in the Iowa caucuses, NBC Chicago’s Mary Ann Ahern reports.

Preston Gabriel Nelson is running as a Democrat in the race, pursuing a platform that includes term limits for members of Congress, a public option for healthcare, a simplification of the tax code, and a complete overhaul of the immigration system. He previously ran as a Republican for Congress, and launched Libertarian campaigns for Congress and for Illinois Treasurer.

Brian Roberts, a Carbondale-based attorney, is also running for the position. He does not have an active campaign website, but does an active Facebook page for his campaign.

Republicans –

Incumbent Rep. Mike Bost will face a primary challenge in the 2024 election. Bost earned 75% of the vote in the last general election, and says he will continue to pursue aggressive tax reform and legislation to encourage energy independence if reelected. He has also sponsored legislation to give additional tax credits to farmers and to encourage investment in rural broadband, according to his campaign website.

Former State Sen. Darren Bailey, who lost his bid for governor against Gov. Pritzker in 2022, will challenge Bost for the 12th district seat. Bailey’s website indicates he will pursue legislation to expand gun rights in Congress, along with further restrictions on abortion access and bills to achieve energy independence.

14th Congressional District

Democrats –

Incumbent Rep. Lauren Underwood will run unopposed on the Democratic ticket as she seeks a four term in office representing the district, which includes Crystal Lake, Oswego and Yorkville.

Underwood has been a contributor to several healthcare laws, including the Healthcare Affordability Act. She has also pushed for increased access to reproductive healthcare in Illinois, and for new laws to prevent gun violence in the United States.

Republicans –

Two Republicans are seeking their party’s nomination in the 14th district, including Charlie Kim, a mediator and business executive.

Kim’s platform includes no-cost healthcare for Americans and supporting DACA recipients in pursuing immigration reform. Kim also will pursue legislation to reduce recidivism in the criminal justice system, and to pursue “realistic improvements in gun safety” while protecting Second Amendment rights.

James Marter, who has run against former Sen. Mark Kirk and former Rep. Adam Kinzinger, will oppose Kim in the March primary. A business owner and entrepreneur, Marter’s platform includes reductions in spending to balance the federal budget and to bolster security at the U.S.-Mexico border, along with eliminating federal influence on the education system.

Supreme Court Justice – 1st District

Democrats –

Voters in the first district will select a justice for a full 10-year term, with incumbent Justice Joy Cunningham running for reelection to her seat. Cunningham replaced former Chief Justice Ann Burke in 2022. She earned her law degree from John Marshall Law School in Chicago, and previously served as a judicial clerk and a general counsel for Northwestern Memorial System before being elected as a Cook County Circuit Court judge.

Judge Jesse Reyes, who represents Illinois’ 1st district appellate court, will oppose Cunningham in the Democratic primary. Reyes also graduated from John Marshall Law School, and was previously employed by the Chicago Board of Education’s law department. He also served as a senior supervising attorney with the Corporation Counsel’s Office in Chicago, and has been rated as “highly qualified” by the Illinois State Bar Association, among other groups.

Republicans –

There are no Republicans on the primary ballot for this race.

Two Democrats are vying for Cook County State’s Attorney in the upcoming primary election, looking to replace incumbent Kim Foxx, who is not running for a third term.

Cook County State’s Attorney

Incumbent State’s Attorney Kim Foxx is not seeking reelection, and two Democrats are on the ballot aiming to replace her.

Clayton Harris, a law school lecturer at the University of Chicago and a former Cook County state’s attorney, has received the endorsement of the Cook County Democratic Party in the race, and says that his priorities will revolve around combatting organized retail crime in Chicago and appropriately punishing criminals who use guns in the commission of those felonies.

“When I come in, you will understand that when we have these crimes committed with guns, that you know that we are holding these individuals accountable appropriately for these crimes,” he told NBC Chicago.

Retired Appellate Court Justice Eileen O’Neill Burke is running against Harris in the race. Among her priorities will be a “Restorative Justice Bureau,” aimed at addressing the root causes for crime in Cook County. She also will work to address shortfalls in recruiting for new attorneys within the office, creating new education and training programs to bring more lawyers into the office.

“Bring Chicago Home” Referendum

Chicago residents will be asked whether the city should change the way it assesses real estate transfer taxes on purchases.

According to the terms of the proposed referendum, any transaction valued at $1 million or lower will see a reduction in the tax, but there would be increases in the tax on purchases of up to $1.5 million, and even higher increases on purchases above that threshold.

READ MORE on the proposed measure on the NBC Chicago app

Supporters of the measure argue that it will help to increase the availability of affordable housing in the city, as the measure includes exemptions for projects that are made up of a specific number of affordable units. Proceeds from the increased tax would be aimed toward building permanent housing and other programs designed to combat houselessness in the city.

Critics of the measure argue that it will have a chilling effect on the city’s commercial real estate market, which is already seeing significant reductions from previous years, according to LP Legal and the Illinois Policy Institute.

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