By Joe Kaiser -
Chad Grimm needed 1,500 signatures to run for state legislature in 2012, so he turned in roughly 2,000. But running as a Libertarian in the 92nd assembly district, he was still thrown off the ballot on what he called a “technicality” and Democrat Jehan Gordon-Booth won reelection unopposed.
“That’s when I really started taking this seriously,” Grimm (photo above) told Illinois Review. “(Ballot access) is a problem. It’s extremely upsetting that Illinois voters are being used for people’s political gains and people’s political careers.”
This summer, Grimm, now running for governor, and other Libertarians faced another fierce ballot access hurdle from Republicans, but the circumstances have changed since Libertarians won that battle Aug. 23. Libertarians need 5 percent of the vote in their statewide races for easier ballot access in 2016, and Grimm is polling anywhere between 4-7 points in the tight race between Democrat Gov. Pat Quinn and Republican businessman Bruce Rauner. Fellow Libertarian Julie Fox is registering as high as 8 percent in her third run for comptroller, and with Libertarians on the ballot for every statewide office, Republicans are showing some signs of concern.
A mailer sent out last week by the Illinois Republican Party with the headline “REPUBLICAN VOTER ALERT!” issued a warning to hard Rs that “Pat Quinn and Mike Madigan are using Chad Grimm to steal the election.”
Grimm and Libertarians reject this claim and point out that these tactics from the GOP show a sense of desperation.