Illinois secretary of state candidates Dan Brady, John Milhiser discuss why they're running

Both Republican candidates commented on Illinois secretary of state locations

ByKay Cesinger WLS logo
Sunday, April 24, 2022
Our Chicago

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WLS) -- After more than 23 years in office, Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White is not running for reelection. Currently, six candidates are in the race to replace him.

ABC7 Chicago plans to speak with them all ahead of the June primary. The two Republican candidates were the first to be interviewed.

One of them is state Rep. Dan Brady. He's been a member of the Illinois General Assembly since 2001.

Previously he served as McLean County coroner. Brady is a funeral director in Bloomington, Illinois.

WATCH: Our Chicago: Republican secretary of state candidates Part 1

ABC7 Chicago spoke with two Republican candidates for Illinois secretary of state.

ABC7 asked what his top priority would be if elected.

"I believe my top priority issue would be more online services for the secretary of state's office because this is an executive branch office that touches more daily lives than any other office in state government on a daily basis," Brady said. "And the one area is driver services that is probably the most prevalent that people come in contact with. And to reduce those lines, to cut through the red tape is very, very important."

And Brady explained how he thinks his experience in state politics makes him a good candidate to be the next Illinois secretary of state.

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"I think it uniquely qualifies me serving as deputy Republican leader. First I know I have to work as a Republican in the minority, both sides of the aisle to represent my district as I do. And I think as secretary of state, having that legislative background will be very, very unique and will give me an opportunity to continue that partnership with many of my colleagues in the House and the Senate, many of whom on my side of the aisle have endorsed my Republican primary candidacy. But on the other side of the aisle, the Democratic side of the aisle, I've built rapport, friendships and working abilities with my colleagues to try and get things done on behalf of the people of Illinois. So I think that gives me a leg up."

The other Republican candidate who joined ABC7 was John Milhiser. He's a former prosecutor with the Sangamon County State's Attorney's office. And from 2018 to 2021, he served as the U.S. attorney for the Central District of Illinois.

WATCH: Our Chicago: Republican secretary of state candidates Part 2

ABC7 Chicago spoke with two Republican candidates for Illinois secretary of state.

Milhiser currently teaches high school government, history and English in Springfield.

ABC7 asked what his top priority would be, if elected.

"Well first and foremost, the secretary of state's office is a customer-service-based office. So we need to make sure the services provided in that office are provided at a high level to all 102 counties. And I'm running for secretary of state because career politicians and corruption are ruining this state. I'm a career prosecutor, and, when I get in the office, my priorities will be rooting out corruption, protecting the taxpayer dollar, modernizing the secretary of state's office and restoring faith in government in Illinois."

As for what made him decide to jump into this race, Milhiser said, "Well I saw the direction of our state, and, quite frankly, our country, and it's the wrong direction. And we need a course correction. And, when you look at the history of corruption in Illinois, it has to change. We're losing population. I have two daughters, both in college; I want them to live in Illinois. One's out-of-state; one's in-state. I want them to come to Illinois and live here and make Illinois a place that is welcoming and is safe and where they can live and raise a family. And, sure, I have a history of prosecuting corruption, prosecuting violent crime, but history also involves partnering with communities, partnering with law enforcement. I've managed large offices in high pressure situations, and that's what we need in the secretary of state's office."