Four candidate have filed petitions seeking to become the Republican nominee to try to unseat long-time U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky of Evanston.

Two candidates — Sargis Sangari and John Elleson — filed when the filing period opened last week, and two more — Vincent Thomas and Maxwell Rice — filed on Monday, the last day to submit petitions.

Thomas, 35. an Evanston resident, is a U.S. Coast Guard veteran with a doctorate in public policy and administration. He runs a public policy consulting firm and teaches at local colleges. He’s also a member of the city’s Board of Ethics and the Citizen Police Complaint Assessment Committee.

Rice, 26, of Glencoe, features a photo of Schakowsky’s arrest at an immigration rally in 2013 on the home page of his campaign website and says if elected he’d form a Congressional committee to investigate Illinois goverment corruption including “Conwoman Schalowsky.”

Sangari, 48, of Skokie, heads the Near East Center for Strategic Engagement. He was born in Iran and immigrated to the U.S. in 1980. He served as a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army.

Elleson, 55,of Arlington Heights, is pastor of the Lakewood Chapel there.

Incumbent governor Bruce Rauner now has a challenger for renomination on the Republicant ticket, Jeanne Ives of Wheaton.

And the race for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination has grown more crowded with the three candidates who filed on the opening day — Daniel Biss of Evanston, J.B. Pritzker and Chris Kennedy — now joined by Terry Getz of Dupo, Bob Daeber of Marine, Tio Hardiman of Calumet City and Robert Marshall of Burr Ridge.

In the race to fill the 9th District seat Biss is vacating in the state Senate, State Rep. Laura Fine (D-Glenview) will face off in the general election against Republican Joan McCarthy Lasonde of Wilmette, who lost to Schakowsky two years ago.

Six Democrats are seeking to replace Fine as the 17th District representative in the state House. They are Candance Chow of Evanston, Theresa Coomer of Glenview, Pete Dagher of Skokie, Alexandra Eidenberg of Wilmette, Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz of Glenview and Mary Rita Luecke of Skokie.

The winner of the Democratic primary will face Republican Peter Lee of Wilmette in November.

Incumbent Robyn Gabel of Evanston will face Julie Cho of Wilmette in November to represent the 18th District in the state House.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

Join the Conversation


  1. Concerning Discourse from Mr. Rice
    I took a look at each of these websites, and am particularly disturbed by Maxwell Rice’s “position.”

    The only platform plank on his website one calling to “Investigate, Indict, and Incarcerate ILLINOIS POLITICIANS.”

    I can’t help but draw a line directly from the deeply unsettling and un-American “Lock Her Up” nonsense of Election 2016 to this – a 26 year old man now running for office in our district with the sole stated goal of investigating and jailing our current politicians.

    We are not some banana republic, fueled by endless cycles of revenge and vindication, that baselessly imprisons politicians at the whim of the political winds. This is not what functioning democracies do, least of all the world’s most successful democracy to date. A call like this hearkens back to our Republic’s darkest days of McCarthyism and Civil War, and I for one hope the local GOP chapters denounce and censure Mr. Rice immediately. No matter your political leanings, this is not who we are as Americans – despite the disheartening (but, I believe, just temporary) Washington politics of the day.

  2. Denial is not a river
    I’ll bet you still have a Clinton/Kaine lawn sign up.

    By the way it was a republican president that ended the Civil war. Yes, Abe was a republican.


    1. A seismic shift for GOP since Lincoln

      Yes, but if you paid attention in American History Class you would know that the Republican party underwent a seismic shift since Lincoln and now endorses pedophiles and Nazis.

      1. Taxes, voting bans and racism, thy is Democratic party
        Robert Byrd, one of the longest serving and highest ranking Democrat senators in America, was a grand wizard in the KKK. Byrd was a member of the wing of the Democratic Party that opposed desegregation and civil rights imposed by the federal government. There is statue of Byrd and tons of schools, roads and buildings named after him but I don’t hear you or any Democrat demanding the statue be torn down and the schools and roads renamed..

        A few years ago, the Illinois Democratic party sicced their attack dog attorneys on a grassroots movement that collected twice as many signatures needed to simply put on the ballot voter referendums for term limits and gerrymandering reform .The Democrats sued the organization and the daughter of a long time well known Democrat playmaker, Abner Mikva, threw out the petition, calling it unconstitutional and denying us little peeps in the peanut gallery a chance to vote on term limits and gerrymandering.

        There is no political competition around here – the Democratic party machine rules with impunity in Chicago and Crook County. In the state house, the Democrats have a supermajority and bypassed Republican Rauner’s veto on an income tax hike, raising taxes from 3-5 percent. I could write a volume right here about all the corruption involving Democrats in Chicago, Crook County and Illinois.

        But you liberals only know how to peddle outrageous statements that Republicans are pedophiles and Nazis. BTW- a KKK group in California endorsed Hillary Clinton. Just sayin.

        The truth is the Democratic party is still racist but in more subtle way.

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