Illinois Secretary of State election, 2022

The Illinois Secretary of State oversees key aspects of elections, business services, libraries, and vehicle services. The 2022 election will shape the future priorities of this important office. This article provides an overview of the 2022 election, past election results, and an analysis of factors influencing voting patterns.

Overview of the Secretary of State Office


The Illinois Secretary of State is responsible for:

  • Maintaining voter rolls and administering elections
  • Registering businesses
  • Maintaining state records
  • Licensing drivers and vehicles
  • Overseeing state libraries


As the chief election authority, the Secretary of State plays a major role in ensuring fair and efficient elections. They also impact business registration, public libraries, driving services, and recordkeeping. The office provides critical services to Illinois residents.

2022 Election

The 2022 Illinois Secretary of State election took place on November 8, 2022. Leading up to the general election, competitive primaries shaped the final field of candidates.

Primary Elections

Republican Primary

Dan Brady defeated John Milhiser in the Republican primary. Brady, a state representative, won with 76% of the vote.

Democratic Primary

Alexi Giannoulias, a former state treasurer, won the Democratic primary with 52% of the vote. He defeated Anna Valencia, the Chicago City Clerk.

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General Election


The general election included:

  • Alexi Giannoulias (D): Former Illinois Treasurer
  • Dan Brady (R): Illinois State Representative
  • Jon Stewart (L): Libertarian candidate
  • Michelle Turney (I): Independent write-in candidate


Alexi Giannoulias defeated Dan Brady by over 10 points in the general election:

  • Giannoulias (D): 54.3%, 2,220,713 votes
  • Brady (R): 43.6%, 1,783,070 votes

Giannoulias benefited from Illinois’ blue lean in statewide races. The Secretary of State office had been held by Democrat Jesse White since 1999.

Key Issues

Key issues in the race included:

  • Election administration – Conflicting views on mail voting, voter ID laws, and voter access.
  • Business services – Improving business registrations and filings.
  • Technology – Upgrading technology systems for licenses and records.

Past Elections

2018 Election

Incumbent Jesse White defeated Republican Jason Helland by 39 points in 2018. White had held the office since 1999.

2014 Election

White also easily won re-election in 2014, defeating Republican Mike Webster by over 34 points.

Election Analysis

Illinois has trended blue in statewide elections. However, there are regional differences in partisanship.

Presidential Voting Trends

Illinois has voted Democratic for president since 1992. Heavily Democratic Cook County delivers huge margins. Downstate rural counties lean Republican.

Statewide Election Trends

Democrats have won most statewide races in recent cycles, including for Senate and Governor. The Secretary of State has been held by Democrats since 1999.

State Partisanship

Illinois has a Democratic trifecta with a Democratic Governor, House, and Senate. 13 of 18 U.S. House seats are held by Democrats.


The Chicago metro area, Cook County, and other suburban counties make up a majority of the state’s population and tilt heavily Democratic in elections. Downstate rural counties are more Republican.

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The 2022 election reinforced the Democratic lean in Illinois statewide races. Alexi Giannoulias will lead a key office overseeing elections, business services, and driving administrations. Past elections demonstrate the increasing Democratic advantage, driven by population centers like Chicago. Regional differences remain, as rural downstate counties favor Republicans. The Secretary of State will need to balance these political divides.


How long do Illinois Secretary of State terms last?

Illinois Secretaries of State serve 4 year terms, with no term limits.

When was the last time a Republican won this office?

The last Republican elected was George Ryan in 1994. He did not seek re-election in 2002.

What were the key election issues in 2022?

Main issues included election administration, business services, technology upgrades, and driver facilities.

Who was the Democratic nominee?

Alexi Giannoulias, former Illinois Treasurer, won the Democratic primary and general election.

What counties lean Democratic in Illinois?

Cook County, home to Chicago, as well suburban counties like DuPage deliver strong Democratic margins in statewide races.

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