Democrats running for Illinois secretary of state, left to right, former Illinois Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias, Ald. David Moore (17th) and Chicago City Clerk Anna Valencia participate in a debate at the Union League Club in late May.
Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times file
A popular former state treasurer versus a trail-blazing, rising star of the Illinois Democratic Party, as well as an esteemed South Side alderman and a south suburban non-profit director?
Or is it an inept former banker versus a City Hall insider who allegedly boosted her husband’s lobbying business, as well as a desperate politician making baseless accusations and a political puppet planted in the race to confuse voters?
It all depends on which candidate you ask in the heated four-way Democratic primary race for secretary of state, the party’s only statewide contest without an incumbent vying for the nomination — forcing Illinois’ most powerful Dems to pick sides.
The looming void left by retiring Secretary of State Jesse White — long considered Illinois’ most popular elected official after an unprecedented six terms — has drawn an ambitious field of hopefuls looking to maintain Democratic control of the state’s most public-facing office, responsible for driver services and most other record-keeping.
Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White in 2016.
Rich Hein/Sun-Times file
While former state Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias, Chicago City Clerk Anna Valencia, Ald. David Moore (17th) and Homewood resident Sidney Moore all agree that modernizing technology in the office would be their top priority, they diverge on their characterizations of one another.
Giannoulias and Valencia have emerged as the perceived frontrunners in the race, thanks to big-name party establishment endorsements and hefty campaign contributions.
Those dollars — more than $4.4 million in the bank for Giannoulias and $1.1 million for Valencia at the end of March, with hundreds of thousands more flowing in for each since then — have helped them both flood the airwaves with ads.
Giannoulias, who held the state treasurer’s office from 2007-11, has faced the same questions that dogged his losing 2010 bid for Barack Obama’s U.S. Senate seat, all surrounding his tenure as loan officer for his family’s doomed Broadway Bank.
The institution approved loans to some with alleged links to organized crime before it went under in the middle of Giannoulias’ Senate campaign.
Source:: Chicago Sun Times
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