Politics Notebook: Jesse White seeking re-election

News-DemocratSeptember 12, 2013 

Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White, an Alton native, formally announced Thursday that he will seek an unprecedented fifth term in next year's election.

White, a Democrat, was first elected to the office in 1998 and has consistently been a strong candidate, winning re-election in 2002, 2006 and 2010. He was the top vote-getter in the state in 2010, winning 70 percent of the popular vote.

White, 79, said his accomplishments include pushing for ignition devices that prevent drunken driving and making local offices more efficient.

"I am honored to serve the people of Illinois and look forward to continuing to advocate for safe roads, as well as exceptional and efficient customer service, as I ask the voters of Illinois for their support," White said.

So far, no one has announced a challenge to White in the 2014 election. White served as a state representative for 16 years, and also is the founder of a gymnastics group for disadvantaged children, the Jesse White Tumbling Team.

White had previously said his current term would be his last.

LEMONADE FROM LEMONS?: Gov. Pat Quinn announced in a press release Thursday that Mike's Hard Lemonade Co., a maker of lemon-flavored malt liquor beverages, is moving its U.S. headquarters to Chicago, creating 80 jobs. The company's U.S. headquarters moved in 2005 from Colorado to Seattle.

Quinn's office did not, however, issue a press release on the planned move of another company, Kenall Manufacturing, from Illinois to Wisconsin. The maker of lighting equipment, with 400 employees, plans to move its headquarters from Gurnee to Kenosha, Wis., according to a report in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker announced the Kenall move. It's the second time in two weeks that he's announced landing an Illinois company: Hanna Cylinders, based in Libertyville with about 100 jobs, plans to move to Kenosha County, Wis. The company makes pneumatic and hydraulic cylinders.

DILLARD ENDORSEMENTS: Look for local legislators to begin announcing their endorsements of candidates for governor, both Democrats and Republicans.

Rep. Dwight Kay, R-Glen Carbon, announced this week his endorsement of GOP hopeful Sen. Kirk Dillard, R-Hinsdale. Dillard vowed to stop the closing of the Warren G. Murray Developmental Center in Centralia if elected.

Kay said, "Sen. Dillard has been a tireless advocate for Illinois competitiveness.He knows that our tax rates, business regulations and tort system are all impediments to growing the private sector in the Land of Lincoln."

Other Republican gubernatorial hopefuls are Sen. Bill Brady, Treasurer Dan Rutherford and businessman Bruce Rauner. Democrats seeking their party's nomination are Quinn and former White House chief of staff Bill Daley.

THE DOORS: The new $700,000 doors on the west side of the state Capitol building continue to be a thorn in the side of state officeholders.

Dillard and his running mate, Rep. Jil Tracy of Quincy, announced they've called for an audit of expenditures for the $51 million renovation of the building.

In the aftermath of the door fiasco, Quinn has announced he's halting the release of any funds for the building's renovation. But the moves appears mostly symbolic, this late in the game.

AWARD FOR ENYART: Congressman Bill Enyart, D-Belleville, has received the National Farmers Union's Golden Triangle Award.

The award is presented to members of Congress who have demonstrated support of policies that benefit farmers, ranchers and rural communities.

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