JESSE WHITE says he won’t seek a seventh term as Illinois Secretary of State when he’s up for re-election in 2022. “This is my last tour of duty,” the 85-year-old told Playbook at the Illinois State Fair.
Asked whether he might step down before his term is up, he said “No way. I’m seeing it all the way through.”
This isn’t the first time White has said he’d retire. Back in 2015, in an eerily similar interview at the State Fair, White told a Sun-Times reporter that he didn’t plan on seeking a sixth term. “This is my last tour of duty,” he said at the time. Two years later, he changed his mind and in 2018, he won re-election handily.
Back then, White was working with a Republican governor and may have wanted to run just to be assured his seat stayed in Democratic hands. With J.B. Pritzker now in the governor’s office, even if he were to decide not to finish out his term, White could leave knowing a Democrat would be named to fill his seat.
This is actually the third time White has made this vow. He said the same thing in 2010.
So, I can’t help but wonder whether he will actually serve out his full term.