City Clerk Anna Valencia launched a bid to become Illinois’ next Secretary of State on Monday with backing from two labor organizations.
During a campaign kickoff at the painters union local 14 hall in the West Loop, Valencia said she wants to modernize the Secretary of State office and make it more accessible to people across Illinois.
Valencia is the fifth candidate to announce a bid for the Democratic nomination to run in the November 2022 election. All are seeking to succeed Jesse White, who is retiring after more than two decades in office.
Valencia said she wasn’t concerned that a day earlier, U.S. Rep. Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, a leading Chicago Latino official, said he was backing former state Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias for the post.
“I feel very confident that our state and our voters are looking for someone that has their shared experience,” said Valencia.
“It’s about relationships, it’s about momentum and strategy, and that’s what my team has. This is a long game. A year and 21 days (until the primary), and we’re playing the long game,” she said.
Valencia announced the endorsements from the painters union and from the Unite Here union that represents hotel workers and other service industry employees. Giannoulias has received the backing of the powerful Service Employees International Union State Council.
That sets up a showdown between the unions, which are known for politically active memberships.
Other Democrats seeking to win the nomination are Chicago Alds. Pat Dowell, 3rd, and David Moore, 17th, and state Sen. Michael Hastings of Frankfort.