SPRINGFIELD — Republican residents of a legislative district north of Champaign-Urbana will have a five-way race for the new 106th House District seat.
Two more candidates filed before Monday's deadline, making it the most crowded Republican primary next March in all of Illinois' 177 legislative districts.
No Democrat filed to run in the overwhelmingly Republican district that includes all or parts of Ford, Vermilion, Iroquois, Livingston and Woodford counties. The five Republicans are Tom Bennett of Gibson City, Josh Harms of Watseka, Scott McCoy of Pontiac, Richard Thomas of Dwight and Brian Gabor of Pontiac. The latter two filed their candidate petitions Monday.
Four districts will have five-way Democratic primaries, but no other district has as many as four Republican candidates for a seat.
The 106th is not the only legislative district with a Republican primary. Of the 10 legislative districts in The News-Gazette area, six will have contested GOP elections next March 20.
The 102nd House District, which includes all or parts of Champaign, Vermilion, Douglas, Edgar, Moultrie, Macon and Shelby counties, will feature two Republicans: incumbent Adam Brown of Decatur and challenger Rob Roman of Chrisman.
In the 110th House District, Kevin Garner of Toledo and Brad Halbrook of Shelbyville — the Republican Party chairman in Shelby County — are challenging five-term incumbent state Rep. Roger Eddy of Hutsonville.
Adam Andrzejewski, a conservative DuPage County Republican who sought the GOP nomination for governor last year, said his political action committee, known as For the Good of Illinois, backed Halbrook.
"For The Good of Illinois PAC encouraged a very strong Republican County chairman to challenge Roger Eddy in the Republican primary," Andrzejewski wrote Monday. "In six days, volunteers gathered 1,500 petition signatures."
Three area Senate districts will feature Republican primaries:
—- The 52nd, which includes much of both Champaign and Vermilion counties, will see a GOP contest between Alan Nudo and John Bambenek, both of Champaign,
— The 51st District has a contest between Tom Pliura of rural Ellsworth and state Rep. Chapin Rose of Mahomet.
— And the 53rd District has Sen. Shane Cultra of Onarga facing off with Rep. Jason Barickman of Champaign.
The only area Republicans without challenges are Rob Meister of Champaign in the 103rd House District, Rep. Chad Hays of Catlin in the 104th House District, Bill Mitchell of Forsyth in the 101st District and Sen. Dale Righter of Mattoon in the 55th Senate District.
There are only two Democratic candidates — both incumbents — in any of the 10 legislative districts. Sen. Mike Frerichs of Champaign is unopposed in the 52nd Senate District primary, as is Rep. Naomi Jakobsson of Urbana in the 103rd House District.
In another race of area interest, 2010 Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill Brady of Bloomington is the only candidate of either party in the 44th Senate District.