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Low turnout sinks Ald. Moore’s campaign for Secretary of State

Secretary of State

Alderman David Moore (17th), seeking to succeed longtime incumbent Jesse White, lost his bid for Illinois Secretary of State to Alexis Giannoulias, who won the Democratic nomination in Tuesday’s Primary election.

Secretary of State
Alexi Giannoulias

Giannoulias, who became the youngest candidate in the nation to become Illinois Treasurer in 2007 and who nearly beat Republican Mark Kirk in the U.S. Senate race in 2010, took 52.8 percent of the vote in the June 28 Primary. He beat City Clerk Anna Valencia, who won 34.4 percent of the vote and Moore, who grabbed just 8.9 percent.

White is retiring after 23 years as Illinois’ first Black Secretary of State.

Giannoulias in the General Election in November will face Republican Dan Brady who grabbed 78 percent of the votes over challenger John C. Milhiser.

Ald. Moore campaigned heavily in Chicago’s Black electorate, where there were over 580,000 registered voters in 2020 in the city’s 18 Black wards. But early data from the Chicago Board of Elections show Ald. Moore received just over 28,600 votes in the city. There was no immediate data available on how Chicago’s Black wards voted Tuesday night, but in a city where just 20 percent of nearly 1.5 million registered voters showed up at the polls, voter turnout was a major factor in Tuesday’s results. Election officials said young voters aged 18 to 34 had the lowest turnout while voters over 55 had the highest turnout.

Now in his second term as Alderman of Chicago’s 17th Ward, Moore grew up in the Robert Taylor Homes and is now an Englewood resident who began his career in accounting before jumping into politics. In 2020, he spearheaded a successful proposal to pass an ordinance that renamed Lake Shore Drive after Jean Baptiste Pointe DuSable, Chicago’s Black founder.

Though he received endorsements from Black clergy across the state, Ald. Moore did not win support from Governor JB Pritzker and White, both of whom endorsed Valencia, who trailed Giannoulias by just 10 percent early in the evening.

Giannoulias and Valencia raised the most campaign money in the race. Giannoulias raised more than $4 million and Valencia drew more than $1 million. Moore raised over $71,000, most of which came from private donors.

On the Santita Jackson show on WPCT 820 AM, Ald. Moore’s political strategist, Delmarie Cobb, said the media focused their coverage on Giannoulias and Valencia because of their fundraising success.

Ald. Moore’s results were higher immediately after the polls closed at 7 p.m. At 7:40, he gained 10.2 percent of the vote, but his gains shrank as the night went on.

On election day, June 28, Ald. Moore voted for himself at Abundance Life Church, 2306 W. 69th St., Chicago. Moore had been on the campaign trail for more than 13 months. He often traveled downstate to appeal to rural voters, but that wasn’t enough to compete with Giannoulias and Valencia, who had a broader appeal to Illinois voters.

Moore spent his final days of the race campaigning in Chicago. During the weekend, he attended the Chinatown Dragon Boat Festival and a meet-and-greet event at Reverend Meeks House of Hope. He also attended the Pride Parade in the North Halsted neighborhood.

Secretary of State

Days before the Primary, several Black media outlets including the Crusader and N’DIGO held a press conference near the Chicago Police Department to endorse Moore, whose candidacy was largely ignored by Chicago’s daily newspapers and television stations

As a candidate for Illinois Secretary of State, Moore proposed phasing in the adoption of digital license plates to deter carjacking, eliminate long lines and generate new revenue through advertising. In response to the state’s carjacking epidemic, Moore’s recommendation would help law enforcement catch carjackers while in the cars, since the license plates will display the word “stolen.” They also will serve as a deterrent to would be carjackers.

In an interview with Capitol News Illinois, Moore said fees for licenses and registrations, which are determined by lawmakers in the General Assembly, are too expensive in Illinois and he would look to work with lawmakers on ways to lower them.

The Illinois Secretary of State Department is one of the largest in the state. The department also oversees the registration of lobbyists and security of the Capitol Complex and is most visible in its driver services capacity. In all, the secretary of state’s office has about 4,000 employees and a $600 million budget.

In Governor JB Pritzker’s first year in office in 2019, lawmakers voted to raise several driving-related fees, including for vehicle registration, upping it to $151 from $101. That was part of the funding mechanism for the Rebuild Illinois Public Infrastructure Capital Program to fund road and bridge upkeep.

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