- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 5, 2014

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - A number of Illinois legislators face stiff challenges from their own side and special interest groups in the March 18 primary election because of risky votes they made, either for cutting state worker retirement benefits or legalizing gay marriage. Elsewhere, coveted seats have opened up as incumbents seek higher office.

Here’s a look at some of the notable primary races across the state:



- 48th House District: Rep. Sandy Pihos, 10-year incumbent from Glen Ellyn, challenged by Peter Breen, a lawyer for the Thomas More Society, a Catholic legal advocacy group vocal in the gay marriage debate.

- 50th House District: Rep. Ed Sullivan of Mundelein, first elected in 2002, faces school bus driver Bob Bednar. Sullivan was one of three House Republicans who voted to legalize gay marriage.

- 81st House District: Rep. Ron Sandack of Downers Grove challenged by high school teacher Keith Matune. Sandack also voted to legalize gay marriage.

- 97th House District: Plainfield real estate broker Mark Batinick, Oswego high school teacher Amanda Mancke and Shorewood Mayor Richard Chapman facing off for seat surrendered by former House Republican leader Tom Cross, who is running for state treasurer.

- 24th Senate District: Former state Rep. Chris Nybo and state Rep. Dennis Reboletti, both of Elmhurst, vying for seat vacated by Kirk Dillard, one of four GOP candidates for governor.



- 10th House District: Rep. Derrick Smith of Chicago, indicted in 2012 on federal bribery charges, faces a four-way challenge from attorney Pamela Reeves-Harris, former teacher Beverly Perteet, professor Antwane Hampton and veteran Chicago police sergeant Eddie Winters.

- 26th House District: First-term Rep. Christian Mitchell of Chicago challenged by community organizer Jhatayn “Jay” Travis, with support from unions upset with Mitchell’s vote to overhaul the state pension system.

- 39th House District: Six-term Rep. Toni Berrios of Chicago challenged for the second time by journalist Will Guzzardi, who lost by less than 150 votes in 2012. Unions backing Guzzardi because Berrios supported the pension overhaul.

- 40th House District: Rep. Jaime Andrade, Jr., of Chicago, faces a five-way primary challenge from attorney Nancy Schiavone, attorney Aaron Goldstein, engineer Mark Pasieka, and activist Wendy Harmston. Unions are bankrolling Schiavone’s campaign after Andrade’s vote for pension overhaul.



-115th House: Opening left by Rep. Mike Bost of Murphysboro, running for Congress, has attracted four contenders. In Democratic primary, former Jackson County Sheriff Bill Kilquist against Illinois Department of Natural Resources director Tony Mayville. For Republicans, Pickneyville Correctional Center employee Terri Bryant and Jefferson County Board Chairman Bob White, both of Murphysboro.

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