|37th "Secretary of State of Illinois|
January 11, 1999
|Preceded by||"George Ryan|
|"Recorder of Deeds of "Cook County|
January 3, 1993 – January 11, 1999
|Preceded by||"Carol Moseley Braun|
|Succeeded by||Eugene Moore|
|Member of the "Illinois House of Representatives
from the 8th district
January 3, 1983 – January 3, 1993
|Preceded by||Constituency established|
|Succeeded by||Robert LeFlore|
|Member of the "Illinois House of Representatives
from the 13th district
January 3, 1975 – January 3, 1983
|Preceded by||James Houlihan|
|Succeeded by||Constituency abolished|
June 23, 1934 |
"Alton, "Illinois, "U.S.
|Education||"Alabama State University ("BA)|
|Service/branch||"United States Army|
|Years of service||1957–1959|
|Unit||"101st Airborne Division
• "Illinois National Guard
Jesse Clark White (born June 23, 1934) is an "American athlete, educator and politician from the State of "Illinois. A member of the "Democratic Party, he has served as the 37th "Secretary of State of Illinois since 1999. He is the longest-serving and the first African American to hold this position. Previously, he served as the "Cook County "Recorder of Deeds from 1993 to 1999 and in the "Illinois House of Representatives from 1975 to 1993.
On August 17, 2015, White announced that he would not seek reelection to a sixth term in 2018. Two years later in August, White reversed his decision and announced his candidacy for a sixth term.
In 1959, White founded the "Jesse White Tumbling Team to serve as a positive alternative for children residing in the Chicago area. Since its inception, more than 10,700 young men and women have performed with the team.
White served as a "paratrooper in the "United States Army’s "101st Airborne Division and as a member of the "Illinois National Guard. He played "minor league professional baseball with the "Chicago Cubs organization, which was followed by a 33-year career with the "Chicago Public Schools system as a teacher and administrator.
First elected to "Secretary of State of Illinois in 1998, White was re-elected in 2002 by winning all 102 counties and garnering more than 2.3 million votes, the largest vote total by any candidate for Illinois statewide office in a quarter of a century. In 2006, White was re-elected to a third term, having received 63 percent of the vote statewide. White was elected to a fourth term in 2010, the leading vote-getter in the entire state.
White has been an advocate on traffic safety issues. In 2007, he initiated teen driver safety legislation giving Illinois one of the top-ranked graduated driver licensing (GDL) programs in the country. In the first full year of the new law, teen fatal crashes in Illinois dropped by over 40 percent.
White continues to be an advocate for organ and tissue donation. He initiated legislation creating the First Person Consent Organ/Tissue Donor Registry, which makes a person’s decision to donate legally binding. Since 2006, more than 5 million people have signed up for the registry.
In 1999, White inherited an office under a cloud of corruption from "George H. Ryan. White immediately pledged to restore integrity and eliminate all forms of institutionalized corruption and wrongdoing. Some key efforts included: establishing a code of conduct for employees; setting strict fundraising policies that prohibit employee contributions; hiring Jim Burns, former U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, as Inspector General and strengthened the Inspector General’s office; and initiated legislation to make the position of Inspector General permanent with broad powers to root out corruption.
The Secretary of State's office administers library grants throughout the state. In 2010, White re-directed federal funds from the Illinois State Library so that local libraries throughout Illinois could maintain a revenue flow from the state despite the state's fiscal crisis.
In January 2009, White gained national attention for his decision to not certify "Roland Burris's nomination to the United States Senate following "corruption charges against former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich. White steadfastly refused to co-sign a certificate of appointment for any appointee named by the governor, Blagojevich, who was arrested in part for trying to sell this very same senate seat. Burris then filed a lawsuit against White with the Illinois Supreme Court to compel him to certify the appointment as part of his routine administrative duties.
On January 9, the "Illinois Supreme Court ruled that White did not have to sign his name to any appointment made by Governor "Rod Blagojevich. The Court further ruled that White had fulfilled his legal obligations regarding the appointment of Burris to the U.S. Senate by registering the appointment in accordance with state law. The document registered did not include White’s signature or the State Seal. On January 12, the U.S. Senate officially seated Burris as Illinois’ junior senator.
|"Democratic||Jesse White (Incumbent)||2,374,849||65.7|
|"Democratic||Jesse White (Incumbent)||2,590,222||69.9|
|"Democratic||Jesse White (Incumbent)||2,204,762||62.8|
|"Green||Karen "Young" Peterson||115,458||3.2|
|"Democratic||Jesse White (Incumbent)||2,390,181||67.9|
|"Republican||Kristine O'Rourke Cohn||1,051,672||29.9|
|"Democratic gain from "Republican|
In 1999 White was inducted into the "Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame as a Friend of the Community. In 2015, he received the Jane Addams Award for Distinction in Social Service from the "Chicago History Museum.
|"Secretary of State of Illinois