Arguing that it’s time for a “new era of leaders,” Town Clerk Anna Valencia claimed Tuesday she’s forming an exploratory committee to run to triumph retiring Illinois Secretary of Point out Jesse White.
“What I carry to the table is electricity and enjoyment. Folks are completely ready for a new candidate who shares their lived experiences like ladies and young men and women. Doing the job course households, this kind of as the one that I grew up in. That will excite persons and give some momentum,” explained Valencia, who will transform 36 future month.
“We’re gonna have our really very first woman vice-president. Voters are seeking for that. Some new faces in the Democratic occasion. I can convey that to the ticket along with my downstate roots. Remaining the initial Latina to operate for secretary of condition and the 1st woman that could possibly sit there.”
To underscore the will need for fresh blood, Valencia extra her identify to the escalating record of politicians demanding that point out Household Speaker Michael Madigan be replaced as chairman of the Illinois Democratic Party in the wake of the Commonwealth Edison bribery scandal.
“We noticed that in the final election. He was a distraction,” Valencia reported.
“I aid whatsoever the Household decides [in the January election for speaker], but I do not assistance the speaker continuing to run the celebration. The bash desires a adjust. Which is in which we need to get started. The rest is not up to me.”
Former point out Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias and County Clerk Karen Yarbrough are also looking at a run for the patronage-prosperous office that White has held due to the fact 1999. Neither has fashioned an exploratory committee.
Valencia has been a growing star in Chicago and Illinois politics given that December of 2016.
Which is when then-Mayor Rahm Emanuel chose his then-31-12 months-previous director of legislative counsel and governing administration affairs to swap Susana Mendoza as town clerk.
Emanuel made the same assert on that working day that Valencia is generating now. As a “millennial who happens to be Hispanic,” Valencia is a “rising star” and portion of a “new generation of leaders” in Illinois politics.
A native of downstate Granite City, Valencia is the first member of her shut-knit Mexican relatives to graduate from university.
Her father the moment provided to “sell a kidney or liver” to pay her tuition at the University of Illinois, but a full scholarship designed it needless.
After interviewing for a occupation she didn’t get on then-U.S. Sen. Barack Obama’s workers, Valencia was related through a spouse and children pal to a occupation as a marketing campaign organizer for the Virginia Democratic Get together.
She graduated, bought a automobile and drove to Virginia, exactly where she canvassed 7 days a week in a seriously Republican area “where they called me a child killer,” Valencia when said.
The lady who wrote a 3rd-grade essay about wanting to develop into the 1st female president experienced politics in her blood.
Amongst Democratic strategies in Virginia and Michigan, she returned to Illinois to enable Democratic U.S. Representatives Mike Quigley and Bill Foster, then ran U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin’s 2014 re-election marketing campaign. She also spent time on the team of now-previous Illinois Senate President John Cullerton, D-Chicago.
As metropolis clerk, Valencia has championed the CityKey ID that was controversial at to start with, but has been wildly prosperous in supplying undocumented immigrants, ex-offenders, homeless Chicagoans and other vulnerable populations the identification they will need to get a work.
She has also labored with Mayor Lori Lightfoot to carry equity to Chicago’s extremely-punitive ticketing, towing and booting guidelines that have unfairly focused minorities and forced thousands into personal bankruptcy.
If elected secretary of state, Valencia states she would work to market both of these objectives and at minimum look at the notion of producing a point out version of the CityKey ID.
Valencia mentioned she strategies to put a campaign infrastructure in location, start off fundraising, then “see what the lay of the land appears to be like in the spring.”
“If there’s a pathway to win, I’m gonna get it. … Why not me?” she stated.
White, 86, stated final yr that he would not seek a seventh time period in 2022, but the Around North Aspect Democrat has reversed retirement options just before.
Valencia reported she won’t be reluctant to convey her seven-thirty day period-outdated daughter on the campaign path.
“Look at persons like Sen. Tammy Duckworth. She took her toddler on to the floor of the Senate. She ran when she experienced a young kid. You’re viewing additional and additional gals operate with younger kids. Which is brilliant,” she said.
On the day Valencia was sworn in as town clerk, Principles Committee Chairman Michelle Harris talked about Valencia’s physical physical appearance in a way that could have been insulting if the text experienced come from a person.
“Anna Valencia is a woman — and a rather lady at that” whom all the men in the Metropolis Council really like, Harris claimed on that working day.
“Your spouse has robust competitors.”