SPRINGFIELD — Longtime Secretary of State Jesse White, one of the most popular politicians in Illinois, said Thursday he won’t be seeking a sixth term.
Although he’s announced his retirement before, White said this time, “You can take it to the bank. This is it. ”
“This is my last tour of duty,” the 81-year-old told Democrats at the Illinois State Fair.
White said as to whoever replaces him: “I just want them to be committed to the job and . . . the responsibility that goes with it.”
But he said he will stay active with the Democratic Party and keep his Jesse White Tumblers going.
A spokesman for the state’s Democratic Party leader, Michael Madigan, said many in the party “want to change [White’s] mind.”
White was first elected to the job in 1998 and is one of the most popular politicians in the state. In November 2014, White was re-elected for his fifth term, a record for the office. He won by a 2-to-1 margin.
He has also served as a legislator and as the Cook County Recorder of Deeds.
In 2010 he announced he wouldn’t seek re-election but then changed his mind.