For the first time in decades, Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White will not seek reelection this fall, and as a result there is a huge push among candidates looking to replace him.
White, who was elected to office in 1998 to replace former Gov. George Ryan in the role, announced that he would not seek a seventh term, which would have begun just shy of his 89th birthday.
As of now, there are six candidates, four Democrats and two Republicans, that are in the running to ascend to the Secretary of State’s office.
Here is what we know about the candidates currently in the race.
Former Illinois Treasurer and Senate candidate Alexi Giannoulias is back for another race, seeking to jump into the Secretary of State’s office this fall.
According to his campaign website, Giannoulias is prioritizing “rebuilding trust in our public institutions” as part of his platform, and he says he will seek to protect voting rights, toughen ethics laws and to provide second chances to ex-offenders in the state, among other pledges.
Chicago Ald. David Moore has entered this race touting his experiences both as an accountant in the private sector for Fortune 500 companies, as well as his public service in the Chicago City Council, a role he has held since 2015.
Moore does not have a specific policy page on his campaign website, but has laid out plans to expand the authority of the Inspector General’s office to fight corruption in state government, as well as plans to strengthen disclosure requirements for public officials.
Born in Chicago and raised in Joliet, Moore has served in a variety of roles, including serving as CEO of multiple businesses and charities.
According to his campaign website, he has proposed expanded use of technology within the areas controlled by the Secretary of State’s Office, as well as expanding driver’s services and prioritizing safety on Illinois roads. He also has proposed policies that would lower fees.
Chicago City Clerk Anna Valencia says she is running for the Secretary of State job to help modernize the department, updating its technology infrastructure and to help expand accessibility to services in a similar fashion to what she’s done in Chicago, according to her campaign website.
Her campaign also plans to expand the use of digital driver’s licenses, as well as expanding protections for Illinoisans’ personal information.
Illinois State Rep. Dan Brady has served in Republican leadership for years in the legislature, but is now seeking to improve the Secretary of State’s Office’s record in a variety of areas, according to his campaign website.
Brady’s main focuses will be on increasing organ and tissue donor registration numbers, as well as streamlining services that the office offers. He has also proposed plans to improve driver education, and to help develop and expand services at local libraries throughout the state.
Former U.S. Attorney John Milhiser says that his campaign is based on “restoring faith in state government,” drawing on his years of experience as a prosecutor at multiple levels of government.
According to his campaign website, Milhiser intends to push back against corruption in state government, as well as to improve efficiency within the variety of offices operated by the Secretary of State.