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Monday, Nov. 28 was the first day candidates seeking nominations for state and county offices in the March 2012 primary could begin filing paperwork with the Illinois State Board of Elections and the Cook County Clerk’s Office, respectively.

At the state level, three candidates have officially thrown their hats in the ring for the state’s 7th District House seat. Proviso District 209 School Board President Chris Welch will run in the primary for the second time, as will Princess Dempsey, a Proviso activist from Broadview. Joining them is Beyonca Johnson, of Maywood.

Rory Hoskins, a Forest Park commissioner, said earlier this month he was planning to run for the seat, but he was not listed as an official candidate on the state board of election’s website as of press time.

Several candidates who are or were considering running for the seat said they would only do so if Karen Yarbrough, the current 7th District state rep., decided not to run. Yarbrough has opted to vacate the seat and has filed paperwork with the Cook County Clerk to run for Cook County Recorder of Deeds. Longtime Recorder Gene Moore has decided not to run for re-election.

Elsewhere at the state level, LaShawn Ford is seeking re-election for 8th District state representative, and Kimberly Lightford has filed the paperwork necessary to try and retain the 4th District state Senate seat.