Giannoulias claims victory in race to succeed White as Illinois Secretary of State
For the first time since 1998, Illinois will have a new secretary in former state Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias, who claimed victory Tuesday night.
With 45% of the votes counted, the Chicago Democrat had 1,255,659 votes, or 58.9% of the total, to the 834,422 votes of Republican state Rep. Dan Brady of Bloomington and the 43,695 or 2% of Libertarian candidate Jon Stewart.
"The people of Illinois have now trusted me with the office that touches so many lives, and I promise we will earn that trust," Giannoulias said in his victory speech. "I will fight for you every single day. And I will do it side by side with the working people of Illinois."
Giannoulias will take over a job held for an unprecedented six terms by popular Democrat Jesse White.
During the campaign, Giannoulias and Brady offered ideas to update the agency and improve service for customers.
Giannoulias advocated for digital driver's licenses and digital IDs. "This creates efficiencies and helps reduce lines," he said at a campaign forum.
He also supports a secretary of state app with services such as licenses and titles, in addition to online vision tests. "Other states are doing it; the technology exists," Giannoulias said.
Brady said many driver services facilities "haven't been fully staffed for years. How about cross-training those individuals so they know more roles in the office so they can help more people when they come in?" he told the Daily Herald editorial board.
Brady also wanted to partner with community colleges by leasing space to offer services such as driver testing for commercial and passenger vehicles.
Both men won resounding victories in the June 28 primary after bruising campaigns.
White is 88. The former professional baseball player and U.S. Army paratrooper, gained recognition for founding the Jesse White Tumblers, which has served more than 18,000 at-risk youths since its start in 1959.