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Jesse White’s GOP opponent: “I’m extremely ordinary”

Friday, Dec 15, 2017

* 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.'’

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Sugar Corn - Friday, Dec 15, 17 @ 9:36 am:

    Jesse White has led an extraordinary life. It’s part of the reason people like him.

  2. - Montrose - Friday, Dec 15, 17 @ 9:36 am:

    He needs to work a lot of different markets around the state for that strategy to work in this race.

  3. - Cubs in '16 - Friday, Dec 15, 17 @ 9:37 am:

    He might slay the Morris, IL vote but somehow I don’t think it will be enough.

  4. - Jocko - Friday, Dec 15, 17 @ 9:54 am:

    Just to be clear, I’m supposed to take a 7 year supermarket employee over a former paratrooper, minor league Cub, schoolteacher, and 18 year Secretary of State.

  5. - PJ - Friday, Dec 15, 17 @ 9:57 am:

    So… he’s presenting his grocery job as his biggest plus?

    I hope no one tells him that this is a state-wide election, and most of us didn’t watch him grow up at the Eagle Market register.

  6. - IllinoisBoi - Friday, Dec 15, 17 @ 9:57 am:

    Oh yes, we need elected officials who are merely ordinary. And this thing: “Our biggest problem is career politicians who have burnt Springfield to the ground.’’ I thought Republicans ran on destroying Springfield, as our current Governor has done.

  7. - Claude Peppers - Friday, Dec 15, 17 @ 9:58 am:

    Eagle grocery stores were union shops, his career flourish because of a collective organized union. He must of been a great bagger.

  8. - Matt Vernau - Friday, Dec 15, 17 @ 10:00 am:

    In this case being ordinary and not having much history might be an advantage. There is plenty of free mud to sling at the SOS if you are willing to sling it.

  9. - The Captain - Friday, Dec 15, 17 @ 10:01 am:

    Shorter Helland: “I won a local election with an effective (literal) retail politics strategy and my plan is to scale that up to a statewide race.”

    I hope his grocery store can handle parking for 8.1 million registered voters.

  10. - @misterjayem - Friday, Dec 15, 17 @ 10:08 am:

    “A lot of people watched me grow up.”

    And the same would be true for Secretary of State candidates like Miley Cyrus or Danny Bonaduce.

    – MrJM

  11. - anon2 - Friday, Dec 15, 17 @ 10:12 am:

    === “Our biggest problem is career politicians who have burnt Springfield to the ground,’’ he said.===

    Is he referring the Rep. Jim Durkin, who has served for almost 20 years?

  12. - Thoughts Matter - Friday, Dec 15, 17 @ 10:20 am:

    So he worked his way thru college at Eagle. That is a valid character point. But not one that qualifies him for Secretary of State.
    Presumably, he then earned a law degree, since he eventually ran for states attorney. That win and experience qualifies him for Attirney General, not Secretary of State.

    What does he know about drivers licenses, Real ID cards, DUI, vehicle registrations, business incorporation, libraries, record archival, and all the other duties of the SOS office?

  13. - Cubs in '16 - Friday, Dec 15, 17 @ 10:28 am:

    ===What does he know about drivers licenses, Real ID cards, DUI, vehicle registrations, business incorporation, libraries, record archival, and all the other duties of the SOS office?===

    “Um, what I’d uh, say to that is uh Jess, Secretary of State White is a Madigan pawn.”

  14. - Come on, Man! - Friday, Dec 15, 17 @ 10:47 am:

    Will his yard signs be beige?

  15. - Austinman - Friday, Dec 15, 17 @ 10:57 am:

    Is today April 1st 1??? Has to be bcz this guy is a joke

  16. - DuPage Bard - Friday, Dec 15, 17 @ 11:03 am:

    Um, ok, well there’s your headline for Capfax, congrats. See you on concession night. Sorry election night.

  17. - Precinct Captain - Friday, Dec 15, 17 @ 11:50 am:

    ==- IllinoisBoi - Friday, Dec 15, 17 @ 9:57 am:==

    To be fair, Bruce Rauner promised to use a hammer, not a flamethrower.

  18. - MadManMad - Friday, Dec 15, 17 @ 12:19 pm:

    @Matt Vernau, there is also a lot of mud to sling at Helland, if they are willing to find it.

  19. - Anonymous - Friday, Dec 15, 17 @ 12:33 pm:

    ‘I will represent the great forgotten mediocre middle’

  20. - 47th Ward - Friday, Dec 15, 17 @ 1:49 pm:

    I’m just an ordinary average guy
    My friends are all boring
    And so am I
    We’re just ordinary average guys
    We all live ordinary average lives
    With average kids
    And average wives
    We all go bowling at the bowling lanes
    Drink a few beers
    Bowl a few frames
    We’re just ordinary average guys

  21. - Demoralized - Friday, Dec 15, 17 @ 2:18 pm:

    ==is part of the problem==

    Good luck selling that one. Anyone thinking of giving money to this guy should do something more constructive with their money and donate it to a worthy charity this holiday season.

  22. - VanillaMan - Friday, Dec 15, 17 @ 3:26 pm:

    I don’t vote for ordinary people.
    I vote for talented people who are ordinary.

  23. - wordslinger - Friday, Dec 15, 17 @ 3:42 pm:

    As far as I can tell, that Eagle gig was Helland’s one-and-only experience in the private sector.

    Since then, it academia and government.

    Jesse was in the 101st Airborne and took a run at the bigs in the Cubs organization.

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