Voter Registrations Illinois (copy)

Voters will soon be returning to the polling booths, this time in primaries.

M. Spencer Green, Associated Press

Running for public office is tough. Even the lowest contest on a ballot requires a unique kind of mental courage and moxie.

That’s important to keep in mind as we start to see the November ballot take shape. Candidates last week started filing paperwork, the first step in a democratic ballet that seamlessly happens around election season – the signatures, the candidate forums, the speeches.

If there are enough candidates, they square off in March. The winner advances.

This time around, like with most statewide elections, we knew the bold-faced names -- Rauner, Pritzker, Kennedy, Biss and company – months ago. Pat Quinn (yes, that Pat Quinn) is running for attorney general. There are several noteworthy legislative and local races as well.

Given the explosion of advertising for the governor’s race, you would be wholly forgiven if one presumed the actual election was already underway, although candidates technically have until 5 p.m. Dec. 4 to get the papers submitted.

Regardless of background or position, it takes guts. For those running, there often are tremendous personal and sometimes financial sacrifices. Fundraising can be especially unappetizing.

And yet it is the most American of rituals, a display of our representative form of government.

You think you got what it takes?

Step right up.

You may be doing it for ego, power or -- in the best scenario -- a noble, selfless and altruistic purpose, but the voters ultimately get the final say.

We look forward to a diverse ballot and spirited contest.

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