A lawyer from Hinsdale is entering the race for Illinois secretary of state. Mike Webster had originally planned on being the Republican challenger for Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, but says party leaders persuaded him instead to challenge longtime Secretary of State Jesse White. Webster believes there’s enough that he can characterize as scandals involving White that Illinois voters will be looking for a change. “No individual, in my opinion, is an institution,” Webster said.
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White has been elected to the office four times since 1998. He received nearly 70 percent of the vote in 2010, but Webster claims the office has become bloated and ineffective. “Transparency does not exist in the secretary of state’s office to the people of the state of the Illinois. It’s some type of mystery out there,” Webster said. Webster pointed to the rollout of the Temporary Visitor’s Driver License program as proof of White’s “failure of leadership”, comparing it to the federal government’s problems with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act’s health insurance marketplace. In this case, those applying for the license will have to schedule an appointment weeks or months ahead of time, but the secretary of state’s office says that was necessary to avoid hundreds of thousands of applicants converging on driver’s services facilities all at once.