While the Democratic and Republican candidates for governor duke it out in their respective primaries, Green Party candidate Rich Whitney lies in wait.
A Whitney win would be a shocker, but having garnered 10.4 percent of the vote in the 2006 gubernatorial campaign, he's at least a player. Ten percent could easily swing the election one way or another.
Which isn't to say Whitney is in it just to play spoiler.
That would take something of a miracle, and Whitney, a Carbondale attorney, doesn't exactly have the charisma of successful third-party candidates like former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura, but you never know in politics.
"If people aren't fed up with the Democrats and Republicans now, I don't know what it'll take," Whitney said after filing his election papers.
But will the Democrats and Republicans play nice? Whitney still has a "Let Rich Whitney Debate!!!" Facebook page left over from 2006 that he'll probably have to crank up again, though it will likely just be the Democratic nominee standing in the way. The Republican nominee will be happy to see Whitney shave votes from the left.
But that's a long ways off. For now, Whitney has the luxury his eventual opponents don't - a little bit of extra time to organize and shepherd resources without having to worry about a primary opponent.