(The Center Square) – It’s open season for who will be the next Secretary of State for Illinois. Both established parties have multiple candidates announced with the petition circulation beginning Jan. 13.
Secretary of State Jesse White, a Democrat who’s had the seat for more than 20 years, said he’s not running again.
Outside of funds the governor controls and the budget for the state Treasurer, which manages the state’s investments, the Secretary of State’s budget is the largest of statewide elected officials at more than $530.6 million.
The Secretary of State’s office manages not only services for drivers, but also maintains official state records, facilitates public libraries and maintains and secures the Illinois State Capitol complex and other state-run buildings. It has about 4,000 employees.
Among the Democrats announced to replace White is former state Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias.
“Being the only one who’s run a statewide office, I think that experience is important, but also being able to bring that private sector experience is going to be enormously valuable,” Giannoulias said in August.
Pat Dowell, another Democrat, announced this week she’s expanded her campaign team. This summer, she said she’s ready for the job.
“We will help move people out of line to online,” Dowell told a crowd in Springfield in August. “We will provide digital drivers’ licenses and protect the people’s right to vote.”
There’s also David Moore and Sidney Moore vying for the office. Anna Valencia is also running for the job.
"It’s time to put the first woman, the first Latina and the first mom, in the seat of Illinois Secretary of State," Valencia said on her website.
On the Republican side, state Rep. Dan Brady, R-Bloomington, announced in a campaign video he’s running.
“You won’t just see my picture on the wall at your local Secretary of State facility, you’ll likely see me in person serving you,” Brady said.
Republicans could have a choice between Brady and William Kelly who also announced he’s running. Kelly told WMAY Tuesday he wants to prevent criminals convicted of certain crimes from being able to own a car.
“Just like it’s illegal, by the way, for a violent repeat offender, convicted criminal, to own a gun,” Kelly said. “Well, if they can’t own a gun, why should they own a car.”
The petitioning period for the June 2022 primary begins in mid-January. The weeklong filing period is March 7-14. The general election is in November.