(Updated with Jesse White comments)

Another powerful Democrat is offering his endorsement in the race for Cook County’s 1st District.

Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White is expected to offer a boost to Blake Sercye, the Sun-Times has learned. White is expected to make the announcement at 5 p.m. today.

Sercye, 27, is a political newcomer competing to represent Chicago’s West Side and near western suburbs.

But he’s already garnered the attention of some of the most powerful Democrats in Chicago. White’s endorsement follows that of two other influential Democratic leaders — Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle. Emanuel and Preckwinkle held a news conference on Feb. 18 backing Sercye.

“Blake Sercye is from our neighborhoods and has exhibited the personal resolve and perseverance to overcome so many of life’s obstacles. He is a natural leader and good man who will serve with integrity, honor and commitment,” White said.

White’s decision is a snub to U.S. Rep. Danny Davis, D-Ill., who has been actively backing his former chief of staff for the post, Richard Boykin, in the crowded race.Davis sniped at Emanuel last week when he  told the Sun-Times that Emanuel wouldn’t back Boykin because he feared Boykin’s independence.

“I think they’re more concerned about his independence. They can’t say he’s not bright. They can’t say he’s not intelligent. They can’t say he doesn’t have a good track record,” Davis said.

“But the independence — he will not be beholden to any other political entity except the people of that first county district.”

Sercye, of course, embraced the endorsement.

“Jesse White has transformed young lives in our west side neighborhoods for generations.  His message that discipline and hard work lead to opportunity is one that I’ve been moved by my entire life,”  Sercye said in a statement.

Others running for the same post in the March 18th primary is Ron Lawless, activist Brenda Smith, former Chicago alderman Ike Carothers.