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Nurses’ union backs Valencia for Illinois secretary of state: ‘She will always fight for us the same way we fight for our patients’

Tori Dameron, the president of the Illinois Nurses Association, said in a statement nurses “need the support of strong union allies in office now more than ever” as the pandemic continues to “strain” frontline workers and others in health care.

City Clerk Anna Valencia waves during the Bud Billiken Parade in August.
City Clerk Anna Valencia waves to the crowd during the Bud Billiken Parade in the Bronzeville neighborhood in August.
Pat Nabong/Sun-Times file

Chicago City Clerk Anna Valencia on Wednesday garnered the backing of the Illinois Nurses Association in her bid to succeed Jesse White as Illinois secretary of state.

Tori Dameron, the president of the union, said in a statement nurses “need the support of strong union allies in office now more than ever” as the pandemic continues to “strain” frontline workers and others in health care.

“Anna Valencia understands that more than any other candidate in this race,” Dameron said. “We know she will always fight for us the same way we fight for our patients every day. The INA is proud to endorse her.”

Valencia wrote that she is “committed to using the Secretary of State’s Office to advocate for all working families and make sure that our nurses, who are a critical part of the community, are supported in every effort.”

“For nearly two years now, our nurses have been fighting on the frontlines of an unprecedented healthcare crisis,” Valencia said in the statement. “They are our heroes and we need to work to protect them the same way they work to protect us and our families.”

The Chicago Democrat, who entered the statewide race in June, has also secured endorsements from the Associated Fire Fighters of Illinois and Local 2 of the Chicago Fire Fighters Union.

City Clerk Anna Valencia makes a campaign stop at Manny’s Deli in 2019.
City Clerk Anna Valencia makes a campaign stop at Manny’s Deli in 2019.
James Foster/Sun-Times file

Valencia has also received support from District Council 1 of the Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers Administrative, two chapters of the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades and Unite Here Local 1.

At her campaign kickoff, Valencia said she’ll focus on equity, accessibility and modernization from “Chicago to ... Granite City, Springfield, Peoria and Rockford — and everywhere in between,” vowing that “everyone will have a seat at my table.”

To do that, Valencia said she’d focus on reducing language barriers for those needing to do business with the office, expand library hours and increase grants for technology upgrades and investments so “no matter what ZIP code you live in, your library can get you plugged in to the digital world.”

Ald. Pat Dowell (3rd), left, in May; Former state Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias, center, in June; Ald. David Moore (17th), right, in June.
Ald. Pat Dowell (3rd), left, in May; Former state Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias, center, in June; Ald. David Moore (17th), right, in June.
Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times file

Valencia faces Ald. Pat Dowell (3rd), Ald. David Moore (17th) and former Illinois Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias in the June Democratic primary. Republican state Rep. Dan Brady, of Bloomington, and broadcaster William Kelly are currently the only members of their party vying for the chance to run the office.