White Stands Firm on Criticism of State Senator - NBC Chicago
Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

White Stands Firm on Criticism of State Senator

State Sen. Annazette Collins doesn't like being compared to former Gov. Rod Blagojevich



    Secretary of State Jesse White says he has no intention of apologizing to State Sen. Annazette Collins, whom he once supported, and has thrown his support behind her challenger in the upcoming election, a woman who last year wanted to be mayor.

    Collins demanded an apology from White after he compared her to Illinois' now-convicted former governor, Rod Blagojevich. She threatened a libel lawsuit if White doesn't apologize.

    "I demand an apology to me, my family and my friends," Collins said.

    White responded:

    "Serious questions have been raised about her conduct and as a result I have absolutely no intention of apologizing to her.  Her record has been one controversy after another. ... Senator Collins may be offended by comments I have made, but I am highly offended by her conduct in office.."

    It's an interesting about-face in the ongoing drama surrounding the 5th District Senate seat vacated last year by Rickey Hendon.

    White served on the selection committee that chose Collins to fill Hendon's seat and gave her his support. That changed when White got wind of allegations that Collins didn't actually live in her west side district.

    White now supports Patricia Van Pelt Watkins, who last year ran against Rahm Emanuel in the race for City Hall.

    "I believe that Patricia Van Pelt Watkins is committed to the people of the 5th Illinois Senate District and has the best interests of the community at heart.  Ms. Van Pelt Watkins is eminently well- qualified for the office and has my full support," said White.