With contentious primaries underway in the campaign for governor, a battle royale set in the scrum for Cook County president, and the race for Barack Obama's old U.S. Senate seat already fired up, you need a scorecard to track the players.
We're here to help.
* Today Jim Ryan - the former state attorney general who was the losing Republican nominee for governor against Rod Blagojevich in 2002 - is expected to file petitions for the governor's race and give it another try.
Ryan is a little late to the party; former state Republican party chair Andy McKenna already has ads up on television trying to position himself as the candidate most against Blagojevich's haircut. Other candidates include state Sens. Kirk Dillard and Bill Brady, DuPage County Board President Bob Schillerstrom, pundit and former Alan Keyes spokesman Dan Proft and phone book magnate Adam Andrzejewski.
Expect the candidates to turn a debate scheduled for Thursday into a contest over which one can reform Illinois better, and who hates taxes more.
* A new wrinkle in the Cook County board president's race comes today in the form of No Games Chicago's Tom Tresser, who is expected to file his petitions as a Green Party candidate, avoiding the Democratic primary between incumbent Todd Stroger and challengers Toni Preckwinkle, Dorothy Brown, Danny Davis and Terry O'Brien.
This will be Tresser's first run for public office.
“It’s true that I don’t have any experience giving my cousins jobs and hiring low-ball contractors,” he told the Chicago Journal last week, "but what I do have experience in is running creative organizations and solving problems with collaborative efforts."
* David Hoffman returns to the U.S. Senate campaign trail after meeting with Obama and Daley media maven David Axelrod in the White House last week. Opponent Alexi Giannoulias has already had such a meeting; let's see if their campaigns start to sound awfully familiar. Will the third candidate in the race, Cheryle Jackson, visit Axelrod next?
Stay tuned. We're just getting started.
Steve Rhodes is the proprietor of The Beachwood Reporter, a Chicago-centric news and culture review.