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By Jay Cost

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Filing Deadline Now Passed in Illinois

The deadline to file candidacies in the state of Illinois has now passed. Illinois comes well ahead of the rest of the nation in this regard - most states have a deadline sometime in March of next year. A look at the candidates for the major contests can be had here.

A few observations:

(1) Five Democrats do not face Republican opposition: Jesse Jackson, Jr., Luis Gutierrez, Rahm Emanuel, Danny Davis, and Phil Hare

(2) No Democratic incumbent drew a Republican challenger who has previously won electoral office. This includes Melissa Bean, who ousted Phil Crane in 2004 and whom Republicans targeted in 2006.

(3) Neither Chicagoland Republican incumbent (Mark Kirk or Peter Roskam) drew a Democratic challenger who has previously won electoral office. However, Dan Seals - who gave Kirk a good run in 2006 - is challenging him again.

(4) There are three Republican open seats in Illinois - IL 11, 14, and 18. All of them are downstate. The Democrats have a candidate who has previously won an election in IL 11. In that contest, the Democrat has more electoral experience than either Republican.

(5) Dan Lipinski might face some strong opposition in the Democratic primary for IL 03. Lipinski is the son of former representative Bill Lipinski, who suddenly withdrew from the race in 2004 after he had won the Democratic nomination. His son was selected to replace him on the ballot. And, IL 03 being a district on the South and West sides of Chicago - he won the general election easily. But Dan Lipinski faced a tough primary challenge in 2006 (the opposition garnered 46% between them), and it looks as though he might again this cycle.

(6) Unsurprisingly, Richard Durbin faces no serious opposition to retain his Senate seat.

(7) Gutierrez, Jackson, Jr., and Hare face no opposition. The current tally for the 111th Congress is: Democrats 3, Republicans 0, TBD 432.

-Jay Cost