The race for secretary of state in Illinois — a powerful position in state politics — has had a busy week, with a new face entering the fray, another dropping out to run for Congress and a slurry of high profile endorsements.
Candidates are vying to replace Jesse White, a Democrat from Chicago who is retiring after six terms and over 20 years in office. They will begin circulating petitions to get on the ballot on Thursday.
The secretary of state job has been a precursor to higher office in Illinois politics, with former governors George Ryan and Jim Edgar both serving as secretary of state. Another former officeholder, Democrat Alan Dixon, went on to serve in the U.S. Senate.
Here’s the latest on all of the major candidates for secretary of state.
Chicago Ald. Pat Dowell leaves race
Dowell announced she would run for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday morning, just a day after Democratic Congressman Bobby Rush said he would be retiring. She is running to fill Rush’s seat, representing Illinois’ 1st Congressional District.
“I am grateful for the support people have given me in my run for secretary of state,” Dowell wrote in a press release on Wednesday. “Recent events, both here in Illinois and across the country, have led me to decide to make this run for Congress.”
The 75-year-old Rush has been in congress for 30 years and was a founding member of the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party. He left the group in 1974.
Former Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias gets support from Dowell’s old camp
On Friday, Rush, as well several other Black elected officials, came out in support of Giannoulias, a fellow Democrat.
“He’s always been there for our community,” said Rush in a video statement. “He knows our community. He understands our community.”
Others to come out in support of Giannoulias include former Illinois Senate President Emil Jones Jr., former U.S. Sen. Carol Moseley Braun and current Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, as well as several other current and former elected officials. They had previously supported Dowell’s campaign for the office.
“I’m honored and proud to have received the endorsements of these highly-respected African-American leaders,” Giannoulias said in a Friday statement. “As secretary of state, I will work with stakeholders across Illinois to create more opportunity and equality for every community.”
The Cook County Democratic Party also endorsed Giannoulias.
So far, he has raised more money in campaign contributions than all other candidates in the race combined.
Springfield’s John Milhiser announces run
John Milhiser, a former U.S. attorney and Sangamon County state’s attorney, entered the race on Tuesday, announcing his run as a Republican. He is currently a school government, history and English teacher at Lawrence Education Center, a public school in Springfield.
“Together we can forge a new future for Illinois unencumbered by the last half century of back room deals that have led our state down the wrong path,” said Milhiser in a Tuesday statement. “We must move forward, not backward, and away from the corruption that has plagued our state for so many years.”
Democratic party leaders were quick to criticize Milhiser’s run, claiming that Milhiser would be supported by billionaire hedge fund manager Ken Griffin.
“John Milhiser is the first pawn in the latest political game from Bruce Rauner and Ken Griffin,” said Democratic Party of Illinois Executive Director Abby Witt hours after Milhiser announced his candidacy.
Dan Brady touts support in the statehouse
The other Republican in this race is state Rep. Dan Brady, R-Normal. After Milhiser announced his run, Brady released a statement listing the endorsements he’s received from various Illinois Republicans.
Just over two thirds of Republicans in the Illinois General Assembly have announced support for Brady. This includes Illinois House Minority Leader Jim Durkin, R-Burr Ridge. It also includes some of Illinois’ most right-wing politicians, including Rep. Chris Miller, R-Oakland.
Brady also has the support of Republican U.S. Congressmen Darin LaHood, Mike Bost and Rodney Davis.
Chicago City Clerk Anna Valencia gets national names behind her
Brady isn’t the only one who’s been playing the endorsement game this week. Valencia, who has been city clerk since Illinois Comptroller Susana A. Mendoza left the position in 2017, has been gathering a list of politicians backing her campaign.
On Friday, Rep. Kelly Cassidy, D-Chicago, and Chicago Ald. Maria Hadden announced their support, joining “Women for Valencia,” a group of about 50 elected officials and business leaders.
Three days earlier, U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin announced his support for Valencia. She was his campaign manager in 2014.
“Anna Valencia is ready to make history as the first woman to be elected as Illinois secretary of state,” Durbin said. “She is part of the newest generation of Democrats who are critical to our future in this state.”
They join a list of other prominent names including U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth and U.S. Rep. Lauren Underwood in supporting Valencia.
“As the first woman to serve as our secretary of state, I know she will help us build a better, more equitable Illinois for everyone,” said Duckworth in a Friday statement.
Chicago Ald. David Moore behind on funds, endorsements
Seemingly the only candidate to have a quiet week, Chicago Ald. David Moore commented on the changing landscape of the race on Saturday.
“I’m a grassroots person, not part of the establishment,” said Moore. He claims to be building support in communities downstate such as Peoria, Decatur and East St. Louis. Moore is a graduate of Western Illinois University and has previously lived in the Quad Cities area.
Moore hopes that fears of him and Dowell splitting the Black vote will subside now that she has dropped out of the race.
“The people will decide this election, not the big money,” he said.
Moore has been on Chicago City Council since 2015 and is a member of its Progressive Reform Caucus.
via “Illinois Politics” – Google News https://ift.tt/2TO8iP3
January 10, 2022 at 05:19AM