DARIEN - After announcing October 18 that he was going to challenge AG Lisa Madigan in 2014, Monday morning the Illinois Republican Party announced Naperville attorney Michael “Mike” Webster is instead challenging Secretary of State Jesse White. Webster pledged to bring the Secretary of State's office into the 21st century, and restore some much-needed confidence after Jesse White’s scandals.
“The people of Illinois have been shortchanged for too long,” Webster said. “It is time for dramatic change. The troubling reports of serious improprieties show it is time for new leadership. I will end the inefficiency, cronyism, nepotism, and patronage hiring that Jesse White has become infamous for, and I will provide the transparency, efficiency, and accountability that we all deserve.”
It's pretty clear Illinois Republican Chairman Jack Dorgan, State Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno, and State House Republican Leader Jim Durkin had a major impact on Webster's decision to switch office challenges. Dorgan, Radogno and Durkin recently met with Webster, 53, to encourage him to challenge White.
Earlier, Chairman Dorgan issued a statewide call to GOP leaders to circulate petitions for Webster. Petition submission opens next Monday.
“I'm pleased to share that Mike Webster has been recruited to run for Secretary of State,” Dorgan said. “Illinois deserves much better than the controversy coming out of Jesse White’s office, and the failure of leadership up and down the Democrat ticket.
“The most recent scandal, involving suspicious hiring and work irregularities of a high-ranking staff with a ‘special’ relationship to the incumbent, may be just the tip of the iceberg. Mike Webster will clean house. That’s why the party asked him to make this run.”
A lifelong Illinois resident, Webster graduated from Joliet Catholic High School, The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and DePaul University College of Law. He is also a Certified Public Accountant.