* The Kankakee Daily Journal profiles Jason Helland, who is the Republican candidate for secretary of state…
But [Secretary of State Jesse White], who has been in office since 1999 and is the longest-serving secretary of state in Illinois history, also is part of the problem, Helland said.
“Our biggest problem is career politicians who have burnt Springfield to the ground,'’ he said.
Helland considers himself the antithesis of these office holders. “I’m extremely ordinary,'’ he said. He also expanded on how his common background paved the way for success.
He was raised on a Grundy County farm and is a member of the Seneca High School Class of 1994. During his junior year, he began working at the Eagle Country Market in Morris. He remained there until 2000 and worked most jobs the grocery store had to offer.
The experience proved invaluable when he first ran for state’s attorney. He was considered an underdog in the race, but those making that assessment didn’t take his background into account.
“People discounted me in 2012,'’ he said. “But by working at the Eagle market, I knew everybody in town. A lot of people watched me grow up.'’