WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Democrats

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A crowded field of Democratic candidates has emerged with 10 months still to go before the Illinois primary for governor. Five men have announced plans to run for the party's nomination to unseat Republican Governor Bruce Rauner, who will seek a second term in the state's highest office. 

Illinois makes it tough for new party and independent candidates to run for office, especially when compared with the petition rules for Democratic and Republican candidates, but even a leading established party politician says the requirements are too tough.

Independent and third party candidates will have an easier time running for office in Illinois, thanks to a ruling just made by a U.S. District Court judge.

A Libertarian candidate sued several years ago to challenge the state's "full slate" law.

It requires unqualified parties -- any party besides Democrats or Republicans -- to run full slates of statewide and county candidates.

Chairman of Illinois' Libertarian Party Lex Green says it that can be next to impossible for new parties.

A month ahead of the the Iowa caucuses, presidential contenders can officially file to run in neighboring Illinois. 

Five Republicans got their petitions in early Monday, with at least 3,000 signatures each.

The Illinois Republican Party's attorney John Fogarty says the popular vote for president is known here as the "beauty contest."

That's because who Illinois GOP primary voters pick as delegates -- who are listed on the ballot as supporters of a particular candidate -- is where the race is really won.