By ANDREW HENSEL for the Illinois Radio Network
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (IRN) — Three of the four Democratic candidates in the race to replace longtime Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White met at a forum to discuss what each candidate would do if elected to the position.
For the first time in more than 20 years, White is not seeking reelection. The Democrat announced his retirement last summer.
There are four Democrats looking for the party’s nomination in the June 28 primary. They are Chicago City Clerk Anna Valencia, Alexi Giannoulias, Chicago Alderman David Moore, and Sidney Moore.
Two Republicans are vying for their party’s nomination for the position are John Milhiser and state Rep. Dan Brady, R-Bloomington.
The Democratic candidates, minus Sidney Moore, met at the Union League Club of Chicago late last month to answer questions and discuss policies they may want to implement.
The candidates were asked about their morals and ethics and how those would tie into the job if elected.
David Moore said he’s the one candidate without any ethical issues.
“Clearly, I am the only one that has not had any ethics issues,” Moore said. “That’s the way I carry my life as a person, and as an alderman, and I am going to continue to do that as the Secretary of State.”
Valencia has been under fire from the other candidates regarding her husband’s lobbying. Valencia was required to reveal all of the deals her husband has made for over $5,000. She initially did not list Monterrey Security, a company that works with the city. She fired back at the other candidates, claiming a lack of experience for Moore, and a lack of success for Giannoulias.
“I want to be clear about what is happening with my ethics question, I have an opponent who is running false negative ads out on the TV because he does not have any record to run on so he wanted to make up one for me,” Valencia said of Moore.
Valencia went on to say that Giannoulias, who served as Illinois Treasurer from 2007 to 2011, made a number of mistakes she said hurt families while he was in an elected position.
“When Alexi said he’s the only one who held elected office, when he was there he lost $110 million in college savings funds program while the Bright Start program was called one of the worst in the nation,” Valencia said.
Giannoulias fired back, claiming the comments by the previous two candidates are a major factor in why many do not trust their government.
“This is why people are sick and tired of politics. You ask someone a question about ethics and what they’re going to do in the office and they feel the need to shift the conversation,” Giannoulias said. “I think that’s horrible and I think that’s why people have lost trust in their government.”
After the June 28 primary, the Illinois Secretary of State election will be on Nov. 8. It will be the first time Illinois elects a new candidate for the position in more than 20 years.