A suburban state senator on Tuesday announced plans to launch a bid for Illinois Secretary of State, becoming the third candidate seeking to replace retiring officeholder Jesse White.
State Sen. Michael Hastings, D-Tinley Park, is expected to formally kickoff his campaign Wednesday morning and will receive the endorsement of the Chicago Regional Council of Carpenters at an Elk Grove Village event.
“Jessie White has really built a strong foundation for the office, but with Jesse’s retirement I think young, energetic leadership that has experience can really modernize the office for the next decades to come,” said Hastings, 40. “My leadership experience — whether it’s in the military, whether it’s in corporate America or whether it’s in the General Assembly — it’s proven leadership … and I feel that I could do a good job for the people.”
Hastings has served in the Senate for nine years and is a majority caucus whip in the state’s upper legislative chamber.
Before his time in the General Assembly, he was a captain in the Army, a role that saw him deployed to Iraq running ground and air operations for the commanding general of the 1st Infantry Division. The senator later worked for Johnson & Johnson.
Hastings joins a growing field of candidates interested in succeeding retiring Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White that already includes Chicago City Clerk Anna Valencia and former state Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias.
Last month, 3rd Ward Ald. Pat Dowell said she’s considering a bid for the office. Cook County Clerk Karen Yarbrough previously said she is also considering a run for the position.
Hastings said he’s “not your typical politician” and plans to draw on the experiences he’s had to help differentiate himself from those already in the field and those still weighing a run for the office.
“If you go to a driver’s facility, that’s your interface with government … that’s where people derive their opinion. And I want to make sure, for decades to come, people feel as if their government is working for them — not that it isn’t already, but it could always be improved upon,” Hastings said.
“And for me, whether it’s setting up an appointment system in the Secretary of State’s office or modernizing the website so that it’s not all bunched up the way it is … for me, I have the experience that no other candidate has … and my experience will make government better.”
Hastings will formally launch his bid for the office at 9 a.m. Wednesday at the Chicago Regional Council of Carpenters Apprentices and Training Program, 1256 Estes Ave., in Elk Grove Village.
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March 2, 2021 at 11:50AM