SPRINGFIELD — Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White formally announced today that he will be seeking an unprecedented 5th term in 2014.
White will be running for re-election on his extensive record of improving road safety, using technology to expand office efficiency and consumer accessibility, and restoring integrity to a once scandal-plagued office.
“While I am proud of our accomplishments, I still have more that I want to achieve. I want to make our roads even safer, and one way to do that is to further expand our BAIID (Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device) program to further curtail drunk driving in Illinois. In addition, like businesses in the private sector, I am continually looking at ways to further streamline costs by implementing advancements in technology,” White said.
White was first elected Secretary of State in 1998, taking over an office that was under a cloud of corruption and controversy. He pledged to restore integrity to the office hiring Jim Burns, former U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois as his Inspector General, with the necessary independence and resources to do a first-rate job.
At White’s urging, the Illinois General Assembly passed legislation requiring Illinois State Senate confirmation of the SOS inspector General, and empowering the Inspector general with subpoena power. In addition, White established, clear, strict standards for employee conduct, and set tight fundraising policies, prohibiting employees from making campaign contributions.
“Our efforts have dramatically changed the culture of corruption and demonstrated that this administration has zero tolerance for unethical behavior,” White said.
White has made Illinois road safety a top priority. After creating the Teen Driver Safety Task Force, he initiated legislation advocating for strict safety standards that have established Illinois as a national leader in teen driving programs. The result has been outstanding, producing a 60% reduction in teen driving fatalities.
White is a national leader in the fight against drunk and impaired driving. Alcohol-related crash fatalities have dropped consistently during White’s administration. The use of the BAIID device helped Illinois earn the highest rating from Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) in combating drunk driving.
White successfully advocated for legislation to ban texting while driving and to ban cell phone use while driving in school and construction zones. He passed bills preventing a person from obtaining a driver’s license if there is an outstanding ticket on their permit (Kelsey’s Law), and preventing someone from getting court supervision in a case in which there has been a traffic fatality (Patricia’s Law).
Customer service has improved greatly under White through streamlined operations and the innovative use of technology. Over the past six years, Internet transactions have increased more than 175%.
First elected Secretary of State in 1998, White’s vote-getting ability has been exceptional. He was re-elected in 2002 winning all 102 Illinois counties. He was again re-elected in 2006 by over 1,000,000 votes, and he was the top vote-getter in the state in 2010, winning 70% of the popular vote.
“I am honored to serve the people of Illinois and look forward to continuing to advocate for safe roads, as well as exceptional and efficient customer service, as I ask the voters of Illinois for their support,” White said.