Illinois longest-serving Secretary of State will not seek reelection

Secretary of State Jesse White is calling it a career.

Illinois’ longest serving secretary of state, first elected to that post in 1998 after decades of previous public service, is finally retiring – for real this time. 

White says he’ll focus on the Jesse White Tumblers, a group he founded in 1959 and which he says has helped more than 16,000 young people in Chicago. He says he won’t completely step away from politics, though.

“I believe that the Democratic Party is a party of the people,” White told reporters at the Illinois State Fair’s Democrat Day. “We have to make sure we have good representation so those services people deserve will go forward.”

White won his first election in 1998 with 55 percent of the vote, and easily won reelection four times – garnering well more than 60 percent each time.