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Sen. Dick Durbin endorses Anna Valencia for Illinois secretary of state

In endorsing Valencia, Durbin said, “She is part of the newest generation of Democrats who are critical to our future in this state.”

City Clerk Anna Valencia, running for secretary of state, waves to parade-goers during the Bud Billiken Parade in the Bronzeville neighborhood, Saturday, Aug. 14, 2021.
City Clerk Anna Valencia, running for secretary of state, waves to parade-goers during the Bud Billiken Parade in the Bronzeville neighborhood, Saturday, Aug. 14, 2021.
Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

WASHINGTON — Democratic secretary of state candidate Anna Valencia picked up the endorsement of Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., on Tuesday with the 2022 Illinois primary season kicking off this month.

In July, Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., who is running for reelection this year, also endorsed Valencia.

Valencia, the Chicago city clerk since 2017, “is ready to make history as the first woman to be elected as Illinois Secretary of State,” Durbin said in a statement.

“She is part of the newest generation of Democrats who are critical to our future in this state,” he said.

Petitions for the June 28 primary can start to be passed on Jan. 13.

Valencia and former state Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias are the frontrunners for the Democratic nomination to replace Secretary of State Jesse White, who is retiring. Ald. David Moore (17th) and Ald. Pat Dowell (3rd) are also running.

Durbin said in a campaign video he made, to be released Tuesday, that there are four “fine” Democrats running, but Valencia was “exceptional.”

Valencia managed Durbin’s reelection campaign in 2014, with Durbin entrusting his political future to a then-28-year-old.

Durbin said she worked “tirelessly” to ensure his win “by uniting our party faithful with Democrats who were new to the party and just emerging. Anna is an exceptional candidate, and I trust her to effectively lead an office which touches all of our lives.”

Duckworth already held two fundraisers for Valencia — August in Springfield and another in October in Chicago — and has called labor leaders on her behalf, Valencia’s spokesperson said.

Durbin will also be doing fundraising for Valencia.

Valencia said, “I was honored when he trusted me to run his reelection campaign back in 2014, and I am thrilled that he has once again put his faith and trust in me by endorsing me in this race.”

White was first elected secretary of state in 1998 and will have served 24 years when his final term ends.