State Representative Dan Brady officially launched his campaign on Wednesday to succeed outgoing Secretary of State Jesse White, vowing to make things “easier and more efficient” for Illinois and the businesses that use his services.
“Cutting red tape from government, in the name of making things easier and more efficient for businesses and individuals, is what the Secretary of State’s office needs more than ever,” said Brady, R -Bloomington. “As Secretary of State, my primary focus will be on improving the delivery of these services starting with partnering with the brightest innovators and technology experts this state has to offer. “
Brady announced his candidacy for the Union League Club on Wednesday morning and expressed early support for Republican House Leader Jim Durkin as well as other colleagues in that chamber and his time as McLean County Coroner.
The state representative, in office since 2001, said the secretary of state’s office touches more lives than any other constitutional office in Illinois, but has become ineffective “with long lines of waiting, outdated technology and inefficient processes “.
If elected, Brady said he would focus on developing and implementing new technologies to help “streamline processes, reduce wait times and, at the same time, protect your personal data.” . He also said he had “no intention” of using the office as a stepping stone to a higher post, which other job holders have already done.
Brady’s plans for the office include increasing the number of locations that offer advance service and cross-training office workers so that employees can serve more people.
He also spoke of pushing for the passage of legislation that would allow those applying for a driving license for the first time to take the driving test at a certified public or private school or educational institution in private driving.
Durkin called Brady a pragmatic problem solver who is “devoted to his constituents like no other public servant I have ever served with in my career.”
“There is no better person for this job than Dan Brady,” said Durkin. “Dan’s dedication to public service is strictly reserved for his constituents in his district and it is a perfect choice for this great noble statesman to take up this post.”
William J. Kelly, a journalist and broadcaster who announced his candidacy for the post earlier this month, is also running for the post on the Republican ticket.
The list of Democratic candidates vying to succeed White includes former Illinois Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias, Chicago City Clerk Anna Valencia, Ald. Pat Dowell (3rd) and Ald. David Moore (17th).
As of September 30, Brady had nearly $ 190,000 in his campaign coffers. By comparison, the two main coffers of the Dem campaign belong to Giannoulias, who ended September with more than $ 3.4 million in the bank, and Valencia, who raised more than $ 707,000.
But Brady was not intimidated by the financial challenges. The longtime state official said he was the underdog – and underfunded – in every campaign he’s been on, but “there is no hill for a climber.”
He said if voters “want to continue as usual, if they want dominance in this particular area, then that’s their choice,” Brady said, referring to the downtown location of the ‘Union League Club where he announced his candidacy. “But I’m going to offer something new, something fresh, something different. I hope they will accept my application.
Brady signaled his intention to run for office last week, filing updated campaign committee documents with the state electoral board that showed his intention to run for the post.
The Bloomington lawmaker said he has been considering a candidacy for office since lawmakers concluded their spring session, chatting and meeting with different stakeholders and visiting different parts of the state.
Democrats have held onto the post since White took office in 1999.
Prior to that, Republicans held the office for much of the 1980s and 1990s. The last GOP Secretary of State was George Ryan, who served two terms before being elected governor in 1998.
Ryan and Republican Jim Edgar both used the office as a springboard for successful campaigns for governor. Before Edgar, Democrat Alan Dixon used it to win a seat in the United States Senate.