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Yet another Democrat expresses interest in running for SoS

Wednesday, Dec 9, 2020

* Fran Spielman

Arguing that it’s time for a “new generation of leaders,” City Clerk Anna Valencia said Tuesday she’s forming an exploratory committee to run to succeed retiring Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White.

“What I bring to the table is energy and excitement. People are ready for a new candidate who shares their lived experiences like women and young people. Working class families, such as the one that I grew up in. That will excite people and give some momentum,” said Valencia, who will turn 36 next month.

“We’re gonna have our very first female vice-president. Voters are looking for that. Some fresh faces in the Democratic party. I can bring that to the ticket along with my downstate roots. Being the first Latina to run for secretary of state and the first woman that could possibly sit there.”

To underscore the need for fresh blood, Valencia added her name to the growing list of politicians demanding that state House Speaker Michael Madigan be replaced as chairman of the Illinois Democratic Party in the wake of the Commonwealth Edison bribery scandal.

Cook County Clerk Karen Yarbrough and former Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias have also expressed an interest. Chicago Ald. Walter Burnett has said he’ll run if he has White’s blessing.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

58 Comments
  1. - PublicServant - Wednesday, Dec 9, 20 @ 8:12 am:

    Yeah, but can she tumble?


  2. - Loop Lady - Wednesday, Dec 9, 20 @ 8:22 am:

    Meh, neither Alexi or Karen are squeaky clean…Valencia has a better shot IMO…


  3. - Telly - Wednesday, Dec 9, 20 @ 8:32 am:

    It might be easier to keep a list of people who are not running.


  4. - We don't need no stinking stickers - Wednesday, Dec 9, 20 @ 8:44 am:

    City stickers. Plate stickers. What’s the difference?


  5. - Frank talks - Wednesday, Dec 9, 20 @ 8:58 am:

    Considering he got petitions started 4 years ago what’s the over under on Senator Hastings getting in the mix?


  6. - Powdered Whig - Wednesday, Dec 9, 20 @ 9:00 am:

    === Meh, neither Alexi or Karen are squeaky clean…Valencia has a better shot IMO… ===

    Nobody knows who she is.


  7. - SAP - Wednesday, Dec 9, 20 @ 9:02 am:

    Alexi’s apparent plan to get in early and scare off the competition not going so well.


  8. - The Most Anonymous - Wednesday, Dec 9, 20 @ 9:10 am:

    Anna Valencia sounds like a big fan of Anna Valencia. She’ll do well but I hope she’s careful not to follow in the missteps of the Fair Tax campaign, Susana Mendoza’s failed mayoral campaign, etc.

    There’s a common thread in those campaigns that I’m getting hints of in this article: arrogance and the expectation that voters will come her way without having to do much work. As she lays out for Fran, she checks a lot of boxes but I hope she gives herself and voters more credit and more respect than that.

    It’ll be her second campaign and her first competitive race if she runs. Based on this article she has a lot of work to do if she wants to compete beyond the checked boxes.

    To her credit, she wisely took the space of the “young, energetic Latina” that her predecessor Susana Mendoza likes to claim before Comptroller Mendoza had a chance to if she’s also considering running. Anna has invaluable political relationships. Doesn’t mean everything though. Fair Tax and Susana Mendoza’s mayoral campaign also had strong starting foundations before they crashed and burned.


  9. - Loop Lady - Wednesday, Dec 9, 20 @ 9:25 am:

    Folks in the Chicago region know who she is…she’s Latina and not a usual suspect…of course Jesse will anoint his successor to run, but I think most voters will see this as the usual combine continuation of the same old…


  10. - Touré's Latte - Wednesday, Dec 9, 20 @ 9:30 am:

    Who knew the SoS office needs an injection of excitement?


  11. - 14th ward - Wednesday, Dec 9, 20 @ 9:32 am:

    She runs a tight ship i’m told,answers to no one.New blood is needed in the arena.


  12. - NIU Grad - Wednesday, Dec 9, 20 @ 9:34 am:

    Whoever wins this primary is going to win with like a 20-30% vote total. This is going to be fun to watch.


  13. - northside reformer - Wednesday, Dec 9, 20 @ 9:34 am:

    A statewide ticket with Pritzker, Stratton, Valencia, and Mendoza is great politics.


  14. - Ron Burgundy - Wednesday, Dec 9, 20 @ 9:36 am:

    -Nobody knows who she is.-

    She is from Metro East originally, but yeah she is an unknown quantity outside of Chicago.

    Gee, a patronage-rich job you can settle in to for the next quarter century without facing too much stress, you know, like the Governor. Who would not want that?


  15. - Crystal Ball - Wednesday, Dec 9, 20 @ 9:36 am:

    House Democrats have created their own firing squad.
    All state pensioners should hope Madigan gets back in, because the GOP’s only plan for the future seems to be to come after their pensions.
    Not pretty.


  16. - Powdered Whig - Wednesday, Dec 9, 20 @ 9:39 am:

    === Folks in the Chicago region know who she is ===

    No they don’t.


  17. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Dec 9, 20 @ 9:41 am:

    === Folks in the Chicago region know who she is ===

    lol, what do you base this on?


  18. - shocked - Wednesday, Dec 9, 20 @ 9:44 am:

    I’d like to see someone come in with ideas to improve the way the SOS provides services instead of vague concepts of “energy”. Valencia still can do that, but I’m sure we’ll see someone like Pawar jumping in with a progressive agenda, promises for modernizing systems, and “youth” and “energy” pitches as well. But I agree with the above comments that whoever White endorses is the frontrunner


  19. - Pawar Lost - Wednesday, Dec 9, 20 @ 9:49 am:

    ===but I’m sure we’ll see someone like Pawar jumping in with a progressive agenda===

    the guy dropped out of his last statewide race. All hat, no cattle.


  20. - Powdered Whig - Wednesday, Dec 9, 20 @ 9:51 am:

    I wonder when Republicans will start throwing their hat into the ring.


  21. - City Zen - Wednesday, Dec 9, 20 @ 9:51 am:

    ==People are ready for a new candidate who shares their lived experiences==

    Like waiting in line at the DMV?


  22. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Dec 9, 20 @ 9:52 am:

    ===No they don’t. ===

    lol

    That’s what campaign money is for.


  23. - Powdered Whig - Wednesday, Dec 9, 20 @ 9:53 am:

    === That’s what campaign money is for. ===

    Of course. Let’s see if she can raise the millions of dollars necessary to compete in this race.


  24. - Medvale School for the Gifted - Wednesday, Dec 9, 20 @ 9:56 am:

    Does anyone really think Mendoza isn’t going to want that SOS job for herself?


  25. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Dec 9, 20 @ 9:57 am:

    === Let’s see if she can raise the millions of dollars necessary to compete in this race.===

    After 2013, money and large sums finding their way to folks is a norm not an anomaly


  26. - Frank talks - Wednesday, Dec 9, 20 @ 9:59 am:

    No one knew Susanna Mendoza outside Chicagoland. Kwame Raoul? Only statewide electeds not from Chicagoland are Freirichs and Durbin. Heck all the caucuses are now run by Chicagoland with the ouster of Brady.
    Cook and the collars run the show in both chambers and in all caucuses.


  27. - Trubisky’s clipboard - Wednesday, Dec 9, 20 @ 10:01 am:

    —Mendoza is great politics—

    Snark I hope.


  28. - Jennifer27 - Wednesday, Dec 9, 20 @ 10:01 am:

    Don’t forget Senator Mike Hastings. West Pointer graduate and active duty military Captain. Mike has proven he knows how to build a team and has a record of real accomplishment in the General Assembly. Great family man.


  29. - Springfieldish - Wednesday, Dec 9, 20 @ 10:12 am:

    She’s run state-wide campaigns for Durbin and the Senate Dems, she did the field for Gary Peters and, of course, Raum. She shook up the Clerk’s office and did so without scandal. She has strong union support. This is Valencia’s race.


  30. - Roman - Wednesday, Dec 9, 20 @ 10:12 am:

    What’s the under/over on the number of candidates in this primary? Could it be something crazy like 14? I know, that’s way too high, but that’s the number of candidates that ran for Chicago mayor last year — and it takes 12,500 signatures to make the ballot for mayor and only 5,000 for SoS.


  31. - Amalia - Wednesday, Dec 9, 20 @ 10:12 am:

    Anna Valencia is smart, classy, and I believe she is from downstate originally. yep, just looked, Granite City is where she grew up, and a U. of I Champaign grad.


  32. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Dec 9, 20 @ 10:16 am:

    === She’s run state-wide campaigns for Durbin and the Senate Dems, she did the field for Gary Peters and, of course, Raum.===

    So… an unknown insider? Hmm

    === She shook up the Clerk’s office and did so without scandal.===

    We’ll see, and if there are hard feelings.

    ===She has strong union support.====

    The thing about union support… you have it… then it’s seen who else is in the field and it’s… “different”

    ===This is Valencia’s race.===

    It can be “her” race, but it’s allota other people’s race too… like a Lightfoot win type of crowded to win the Mayoral


  33. - Powdered Whig - Wednesday, Dec 9, 20 @ 10:18 am:

    === Does anyone really think Mendoza isn’t going to want that SOS job for herself? ===

    Mendoza has really fallen off the map since her loss in the race for Chicago’s Mayor.


  34. - Flyin' Elvis'-Utah Chapter - Wednesday, Dec 9, 20 @ 10:18 am:

    Would like to see a race between two candidates under 50.


  35. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Dec 9, 20 @ 10:18 am:

    Frank talks is right about Kwame and Mendoza. Not sure where all this silly bluster is coming from, but some people need to chill out.


  36. - Springfieldish - Wednesday, Dec 9, 20 @ 10:22 am:

    Gee Willy, did you have a point? She was also elected City Clerk, remember. Elected, by voters.


  37. - Levois J - Wednesday, Dec 9, 20 @ 10:34 am:

    Well this race will be interesting if Jesse White isn’t running again.


  38. - Because I said so.... - Wednesday, Dec 9, 20 @ 10:39 am:

    I think Hastings would be a very strong candidate if he jumps in and I think he will. He brings in young, smart, energic people into his team and helps them move forward gaining great loyalty. Hastings is a very hard worker as well.

    Agreed, this will be a fun one to watch.


  39. - Frumpy White Guy - Wednesday, Dec 9, 20 @ 10:44 am:

    =Shocked= Lol, hello Mr. Pawar. Maybe we could recruit Scott Drury. You know because he was a former federal prosecutor.


  40. - Arsenal - Wednesday, Dec 9, 20 @ 10:54 am:

    I feel like Yarbrough is in pole position right now, but there’s a lot more names to get in and out.


  41. - Jason - Wednesday, Dec 9, 20 @ 10:56 am:

    - Springfieldish - Wednesday, Dec 9, 20 @ 10:22 am:

    “Gee Willy, did you have a point? She was also elected City Clerk, remember. Elected, by voters”

    She ran unopposed


  42. - Springfieldish - Wednesday, Dec 9, 20 @ 11:17 am:

    Jason -

    That’s right; because she’s also a badass. The point wasn’t the strength of her campaign, it was the successful transition from ‘insider’ to ‘public.’ persona.


  43. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Dec 9, 20 @ 11:27 am:

    Between this;

    === After 2013, money and large sums finding their way to folks is a norm not an anomaly===

    And this;

    === It can be “her” race, but it’s allota other people’s race too… like a Lightfoot win type of crowded to win the Mayoral===

    Someone at 27% might pull this out, but saying it’s “their” race is a bit… premature.

    Lightfoot in a crowded field, for me, is a good “example” in a small sampling of a race (if you can call Mayor of Chicago a small sampling) but Lightfoot still had a runoff, this race won’t.

    === She ran unopposed===

    Welp, there’s that.


  44. - levivotedforjudy - Wednesday, Dec 9, 20 @ 11:33 am:

    She has downstate roots, City of Chicago elected official, went to U of I, only 35 years old, why not? At minimum, it would get her name out there for future statewide runs. At her age, she can afford to run and lose a credible state-wide race.


  45. - @misterjayem - Wednesday, Dec 9, 20 @ 11:33 am:

    “What I bring to the table is energy and excitement.”

    In my experience working adjacent to her, Anna Valencia is a very pleasant and smart person.

    I’d have thought her much too smart to lead with “energy and excitement.”

    IMHO, voters are weary of “exciting” politicians and desperate for quiet competence. (Something of which she’s likely very capable.)

    – MrJM


  46. - Roman - Wednesday, Dec 9, 20 @ 11:42 am:

    == Someone at 27% might pull this out ==

    Yep…maybe even less. Lightfoot won the first round with 17 percent — which is probably an outlier. But, Bill Brady won the seven-candidate 2010 GOP governor primary with just 20 percent.


  47. - Just Wondering - Wednesday, Dec 9, 20 @ 12:21 pm:

    Has Secretary White officially, 100% said that he will not be running for reelection in 2022?

    Could he change his mind yet again and run for another term? Meaning he would be going for the “cycle”–the 28-year solar cycle, that is. 28 years in office.


  48. - Chatham Resident - Wednesday, Dec 9, 20 @ 12:25 pm:

    == Someone at 27% might pull this out ==

    Yep…maybe even less. Lightfoot won the first round with 17 percent — which is probably an outlier. But, Bill Brady won the seven-candidate 2010 GOP governor primary with just 20 percent.==

    That same year, on the Dem side, Scott Lee Cohen won the Lt Gov nomination with less than 26%–and we all know too well what happened next.


  49. - Left Leaner - Wednesday, Dec 9, 20 @ 12:51 pm:

    Sit down, Ald Burnett. Good lord (eye roll).

    Valencia can tumble. No worries there.

    This is turning into a race worth watching! Anyone going to jump in on the other side and make this really interesting?!


  50. - Adroit Opiner - Wednesday, Dec 9, 20 @ 12:59 pm:

    Whoever it is, can they please fix the most embarrassing graphic design debacle? https://medium.com/words-for-life/illinois-has-the-single-worst-license-plate-in-the-country-64018d987e91


  51. - Loop Lady - Wednesday, Dec 9, 20 @ 3:03 pm:

    Yarbrough in pole position for what? Next to be indicted?
    She takes care of her own for sure.


  52. - Northside reformer - Wednesday, Dec 9, 20 @ 3:29 pm:

    Lol Pewar. I don’t think his work at Soros Foundation plays well with the Eastern Bloc.


  53. - Jason - Wednesday, Dec 9, 20 @ 3:51 pm:

    “ Lol Pewar. I don’t think his work at Soros Foundation plays well with the Eastern Bloc.”

    As if that matters. The Republicans will be almost extinct in Illinois State wide offices for the rest of the century

    However, I would vote for a Blue Dog or Pink Elephant before Anna Valencia


  54. - Veil of Ignorance - Wednesday, Dec 9, 20 @ 4:26 pm:

    Interesting move by Valencia. I’d curious if any of the announced candidates will propose a clear vision for SoS, such as taking back election administration responsibilities as many SoS in other states. Always struck me as strange that we had a separate State Board of Elections.


  55. - Just Wondering - Wednesday, Dec 9, 20 @ 5:32 pm:

    ==“new generation of leaders,”==

    I assume from this quote that if Valencia wins SOS in 2 years, that Benigno and Co. will either be retire or will be fired on Day 1 of her administration. Despite SOS still staying in Dem hands.


  56. - Just Wondering - Wednesday, Dec 9, 20 @ 5:46 pm:

    ==Whoever it is, can they please fix the most embarrassing graphic design debacle? ==

    Not only that, but can they also stop calling their web address CyberdriveIllinois? And start using “.gov” at the end of their website rather than “.com.” Cyberdrive Illinois might have been “cool” in 1999 and 2000 but hasn’t for at least the past 15 years, in my opinion.


  57. - Take it to the bank - Wednesday, Dec 9, 20 @ 6:20 pm:

    Pritzker, Stratton, Valencia, Mendoza is a sure fire way to kiss the suburbs goodbye. Further, one of those folks want to give up their office for a roll of the dice, especially if they have to go against a Clydesdale like Hastings. Donkeys don’t beat Clydesdales. No way, no how. No one will out work Senator Hastings and his crew for this, and he is the only name in the game to demonstrate the capability to get on the ballot.


  58. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Dec 9, 20 @ 6:45 pm:

    === Donkeys don’t beat Clydesdales. No way, no how. No one will out work Senator Hastings and his crew for this, and he is the only name in the game to demonstrate the capability to get on the ballot.===

    … and yet if you win an election, you show a capability to get *on* a ballot.

    Why anyone would disparage “Donkeys” as a… “thing”…. welp, ok… that is an unusual take.

    Gonna be crowded, let’s see who can get and stay on the ballot. September is right around the corner, 23% might win this thing.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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