It happens every election: First-time candidates file to run for public office, only for some of them to have their petitions challenged by a more seasoned opponent.
The people who decide the challenges are always from the party in power, so newcomers cannot expect to get help from them in getting on the ballot. That's why candidates need to read the rules closely and collect far more signatures than required as a buffer, otherwise the may find themselves off the ballot like Jerry E. Rich in Shiloh.
Probably the most outrageous challenge this election involved the candidacy of 17-year-old Bryce Richard Lickfield. His petition for the Collinsville School Board ballot was challenged. His mistake? Not that he failed to file an economic interest statement but rather that he filed it in St. Clair County rather than in Madison County, the home of the district office.
It's distasteful but true: The easiest way to win an election is not by getting more votes but by getting your opponent's name thrown off the ballot long before Election Day.