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Today’s number: 15 years

Friday, May 30, 2014

* AP

Secretary of State Jesse White has set a record as Illinois’ longest-serving secretary of state.

The 79-year-old White claimed that milestone today, when he surpassed the tenure of James A. Rose, who served from 1897 to 1912.

White has served since his first inauguration in January 1999.

White says he’s proud of honoring a pledge to not use the Secretary of State’s office as a stepping stone to higher office. The Democrat has won five terms in office, often by wide margins.

Secretary White turns 80 next month.

And, I gotta say, he doesn’t seem all that worse for wear. The man is in incredible shape for any age.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Oswego Willy - Friday, May 30, 14 @ 9:12 am:

    Want to know why the GOP doesn’t make age a factor with Secretary White? Odds are Jesse White would win a fitness contest against most people you put him up against.

    Quickly, no use of the search key;

    In order, name ALL the GOP *cough* challengers Secretary White has defeated.

    That should keep us all busy for a while.

  2. - Steve - Friday, May 30, 14 @ 9:16 am:

    Jesse is one of the few Illinois politicians who’s concerned about customer service from government. He’s actually made strides in trying to make things more efficient.

  3. - Stones - Friday, May 30, 14 @ 9:20 am:

    I met Jessie White back in 1974 when he was first elected to the House. He was always very kind and friendly to me as a 12 year old page. I’m happy that he reached this historic milestone. A wonderful public official.

  4. - Ron Burgundy - Friday, May 30, 14 @ 9:23 am:

    Can’t argue that he’s done a good job there, but 15 years is plenty. Government needs to not become too entrenched, as bad things tend to happen when public officials and their underlings get too comfortable. In that particular office, especially. Best wishes to him, but it’s past time.

  5. - Wensicia - Friday, May 30, 14 @ 9:24 am:

    I remember when Jesse White came to our high school to perform with his Tumblers, about eight years ago. I’m not surprised he’s still in great shape. He’s done a fine job as SoS, too!

  6. - downstate commissioner - Friday, May 30, 14 @ 9:25 am:

    Sure he has his detractors, and his age is working against him, but he seems to be doing the job-going to be a hard person to replace…

  7. - 47th Ward - Friday, May 30, 14 @ 9:27 am:

    15 years? It seems much longer to me.

  8. - Almost the Weekend - Friday, May 30, 14 @ 9:38 am:

    He has done a tremendous job, cleaning up the mess his predecessors left him, and honoring his pledge of not using the office as a stepping stone.

    All reasons why he won 100 out of 102 counties in the 2010 election cycle. He is the lone reason why I still believe Dems have not lost downstate for the next 10 years.

  9. - Anonymous - Friday, May 30, 14 @ 9:41 am:

    Jesse will be 80 years old June 23, (born 1934)

  10. - A guy... - Friday, May 30, 14 @ 10:09 am:

    Can’t help lovin’ this guy, even as a GOPer. Shows up at every Senior event in the state and stays a long time. Every hundred years or so, someone comes along to make a decent argument against term limits. If there were a hundred more like Jesse that argument would go away. He’s been good enough to fight off one “lousy” Derek Smith who betrayed him. Happy Anniversary Mr. Secretary. This proud GOP Precinct Capt. has been proud and willing to make an exception when it came to you every single term.

  11. - wordslinger - Friday, May 30, 14 @ 10:12 am:

    Best season in the Cubs farm system, 1963, Triple-A Salt Lake City, Pacific Coast League:

    .285 BA, 139 hits, 15 doubles, 7 triples, one home run, 37 RBI, 35 SB, 6 CS, .328 OBP, .350 SLG, .685 OPS, .916 Fld%

    The fielding percentage was an aberration, as he was much better his other six years in the minors.

  12. - Just Observing - Friday, May 30, 14 @ 10:19 am:

    A bit of topic… I do though have to take up one issue with Jesse White. I went to get a new driver’s license a couple weeks ago and the staff at the facility are obsessed with ensuring nobody brings any beverage into the facility. The guy wouldn’t even talk to me until I got rid of my Vitamin Water bottle. Is it really that big of a deal to allow the residents of the state to bring a bottle of water into a facility while we wait for an hour?

  13. - VanillaMan - Friday, May 30, 14 @ 10:22 am:

    He is our state’s Toni Preckwinkle. Keeps his head down and does his damn job.

    What a nice change up!

  14. - Just Observing - Friday, May 30, 14 @ 10:24 am:


    === A bit of topic… ===

    I meant OFF topic.

  15. - john doe - Friday, May 30, 14 @ 10:28 am:

    Too bad we can’t clone him. All of our problems would be solved!

  16. - Upon Further Review - Friday, May 30, 14 @ 10:45 am:

    He is a friendly and personable politician. White did a good job running the Recorder of Deeds office while he was in county government. He did much better than his predecessor (Carol Moseley Braun) or his two successors in the Recorder’s office who treated the place like a patronage pit.

    The only negative thing that Jesse ever did was promoting Derrick Smith for political office. Of course, he has backed away from that mistake and rightly so.

  17. - Soccertease - Friday, May 30, 14 @ 10:46 am:

    “It’s one of those things that came upon us pretty quick.”

    44 years isn’t that quick. Defer the renovation but quit embarrassing us and fix the leak.

  18. - 32nd Ward Roscoe Village - Friday, May 30, 14 @ 10:46 am:

    Saw him do some kind of headstand with the Tumblers at Taste of Melrose Park a year or so ago and he looks great! Also, I just sold my 14-year-old car and was amazed that his name was on my old car title. I then realized how long he had been there.

  19. - GV - Friday, May 30, 14 @ 11:08 am:

    Finally I get to make a Wikipedia edit that will stick!

  20. - Ginhouse Tommy - Friday, May 30, 14 @ 11:12 am:

    Mr White is in great shape, but he is Airborne,a former Screaming Eagle. I guess that training has carried over into his public life as well. I do notice that Airborne grads do seem to carry themselves with polish and pride than the rest of us average Joes. Happy 80th birthday in advance to a good politician and an even better man.

  21. - FormerParatrooper - Friday, May 30, 14 @ 11:37 am:

    Paratroopers are all volunteers and with that comes a certain pride. Mr White has shown that anyone who has the right kind of pride can serve well. I hope I am in half shape that he is when I am 80. All the Way Sir and may you enjoy many more years in life.

  22. - Norseman - Friday, May 30, 14 @ 11:50 am:

    I loved working with Jesse. Congrats to him on this accomplishment.

  23. - x ace - Friday, May 30, 14 @ 12:07 pm:

    Little too gung ho with this ” All the Way Sir ” chanting. Things were pretty calm for the 101st “Puking Buzzards” in 57-59. ( Maybe jumped off some Beer Hall Stools ?)

  24. - FormerParatrooper - Friday, May 30, 14 @ 12:36 pm:

    I don’t diminish his service because of the time period. He served our Country and is serving our State honorably. All the Way is a greeting of respect in the community of the Airborne.

  25. - West Side the Best Side - Friday, May 30, 14 @ 3:06 pm:

    Secretary White has done a great job as SOS. He is not the State’s Toni Preckwinkle, however. That is an insult to him. He doesn’t try to do anything but the job he was elected to, and he does that well. The current President of the Cook County Board of Commissioners thinks she is president of the county and tries to run other elected official offices, e.g. trying to take over monitoring prisoners in the Cook County Department of Correction. That’s what we have a sheriff for. I’ll stop now before I start using words like fake reformer who has the press fooled.

  26. - Just The Way It Is One - Friday, May 30, 14 @ 5:11 pm:

    Congratulations, Secretary. Politics aside, you have been a hard-working Leader for the People of Illinois for a long time. I, for one, and I think it safe to say, WE, or at least the vast maJORity of us here in our “Beloved Home (Prairie) State,” appreciate your dedication and fine service…!

  27. - out and about - Friday, May 30, 14 @ 6:18 pm:

    I agree totallyand think he is a great man but i do ? The strange color of his hair

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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