Secretary of state candidate dismisses accusations of ethics violations
A spokeswoman for Democratic secretary of state candidate Anna Valencia on Wednesday denied allegations she used her position as Chicago city clerk to help her husband's business interests.
"Anna is not the first woman running for office to have to say that her husband doesn't speak for her," Valencia campaign manager Cheryl Bruce said.
"She has not been involved in her husband's business, and she's shut him down any time he's even come close to crossing a line."
The comments followed Chicago Alderman Silvana Tabares' request to the city's inspector general to investigate whether Valencia used her office to benefit two companies her husband, Reyahd Kazmi, is affiliated with. One of those businesses, Ignite Cities, is the subject of scrutiny by the New Orleans City Council over contract steering, Tabares noted.
Tabares also cited an April 7 story by Champaign-based TV station WCIA that reports documents including emails provide evidence the city clerk had spent time at work advancing Kazmi's projects.
The Valencia campaign called the accusations a "political stunt" by a rival and noted that retiring Secretary of State Jesse White had endorsed Valencia as his replacement.
White "knows her character and that she is the best candidate to win this election and do the job for the people of Illinois," Bruce said.
Other Democrats in the June 28 primary race for secretary of state are former state Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias of Chicago, Chicago Alderman David Moore and Homewood resident Sidney Moore.
State Rep. Dan Brady of Bloomington and former federal prosecutor John Milhiser of Springfield are seeking the Republican nomination.