* Today is the first day to file candidate nominating petitions in Illinois. You can take a look at the early filers at the Board of Elections by clicking here.
Toward the front of the line was Lennie Jarratt, a Lake County Tea Party leader who’s running in a probable four-way primary race for Illinois Senate as a Republican. He said he had been in line since 4:30 a.m., standing on the sidewalk with an American flag lawn chair.
“It’s been fun out talking to everybody,” Jarratt said.
Why so early?
Everyone in line at 8 a.m. is eligible to get his or her name listed first on the ballot for that race. Conventional political wisdom and at least one study suggest that being the top name in a crowded field of relative unknowns can boost a candidate’s chances of winning.
At 8 a.m., a state police officer stood at the end of the line, and anyone ahead of the officer is eligible for the top spot. If more than one candidate for any race is in line at the time, the top spot is decided by lottery.