Secretary of State Race: Jesse White vs. Michael Webster vs. Christopher Michel | NBC Chicago
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Secretary of State Race: Jesse White vs. Michael Webster vs. Christopher Michel

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    Jesse White.

    Jesse White, seeking a fifth term as Illinois' Democratic Secretary of State, has a comfortable lead over rivals Mike Webster, a Republican, and Christopher Michel, the Libertarian Party nominee.

    The longest-tenured Secretary of State in American history, and the first African-American elected to the post, White has served in the administrations of three governors, from Republican George Ryan (just out of prison) to Democrat Rod Blagojevich (still in prison) to Blago's successor Pat Quinn (not at risk of being sent to prison). He was previously a state representative and moonlights as a Democratic committeeman in Chicago's 27th Ward.

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    An attorney, CPA and school board president from the tony Chicago suburb of Hinsdale, Webster recently told the State Journal-Register that his first order of business as Secretary would be "to use the bully pulpit of the office and stand up for the businesses that create solid jobs here." He strongly supports term limits for public officials; the 80-year-old White, whose terms have limitless, has said this is his "last tour of duty."

    Michel is a recent addition to the 2014 ballot after the Illinois Board of Elections in August approved Libertarian candidacies over entries from the Green and Constitution parties. According to his bare-bones campaign site, "The Libertarian Party Candidates running for election this year are not career politicians. They do not have massive campaign committees. They do not have massive donors hosting dinner events for ridiculous plate prices. … They 're working people. Just like you. In fact, that's why this site isn't complete yet."

    A recent We Ask America survey revealed an unsurprising lead by White, commanding 61 percent of the vote, followed by Webster with 27.6 percent and Michel with 5.45 percent.

    See the Attorney General race.