Ald. David Moore (17th) has jumped into the race for Illinois secretary of state, making him the fifth Democrat to announce a bid to succeed longtime incumbent Jesse White.
The South Side alderman pledged to put White’s name on new youth centers at driver’s license facilities and advertising on license plates.
“All across this state, I will work hard for those who have felt that they’ve been marginalized because they are not connected, or do not have a big family name, or who do not have the right level of income,” Moore said at his campaign kick-off over the weekend.
Moore made his bid official at Western Illinois University in Macomb on Saturday, saying it was on that campus that he learned to “work with many different people, with many different backgrounds, religions, races, sexes,” experiences he said were fundamental to his time in school as well as his bid for the secretary of state’s office.
The second term alderman said in his conversations with state residents he’s heard common themes, mostly boiling down to people wanting the next secretary of state to be like White in terms of focusing on the office’s services rather than politics and seeing the office “operate effectively without hurting them in their pockets.”
“I have a ... history of serving, and I will bring that history to the Illinois secretary of state’s office — a servant who would build on transparency, equity and hiring, equity and contracting, and the service that are provided by the office,” Moore said. “I will lead with an unbiased and unprejudiced level of integrity and character.”
In his announcement speech, Moore said he’d expand the use of technology in the office for access to libraries to help younger state residents “explore their skills” and establish youth engagement offices named for White at the state’s driving facilities as well as place advertisements on license plates in order to bring in revenue.
Moore, 55, who was first elected to the City Council in 2015, has recently been the driving force behind renaming Outer Lake Shore Drive after Jean Baptiste Point DuSable, who is considered the first permanent, non-indigenous settler in what’s now known as Chicago. Moore has also been an advocate for equity in the city’s contracting during his time in that office.
Moore is the second alderman seeking to succeed the retiring White, joining Ald. Pat Dowell (3rd), who announced her run last month.
Others in the race include former Illinois Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias, state Sen. Michael Hastings, D-Tinley Park, and Chicago City Clerk Anna Valencia in what’s becoming a crowded Democratic primary field for the post, which handles the rather mundane tasks of issuing driver’s licenses and vehicle registrations.
But, for politicians, it’s coveted for its high profile, thousands of jobs and potential as stepping stone to the governor’s mansion or another, higher office.
White made it clear when he was first elected in 1998 that he had no interest in using the position to run for higher office. Before him, Republicans George Ryan and Jim Edgar both used the office as a springboard to successful campaigns for governor.
Before Edgar, Democrat Alan Dixon used it to secure a U.S. Senate seat.