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Jesse White

Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White admits to mistakes in helping to appoint Derrick Smith, a state lawmaker who now stands accused of bribery, but he says voters in 2014 should judge him on his performance in office.

CHICAGO — Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White will run uncontested in the Democratic primary after state Sen. Michael Hastings dropped out of the race.

In a joint statement Wednesday, White said he's named Hastings has honorary co-chair of his re-election committee and the two will work together.

Hastings, a Tinley Park Democrat, withdrew his petitions this week. He'd filed petitions to challenge White in the March 20 primary, saying he was going to make sure White was running for a sixth term and hadn't made a final decision.

In the Wednesday statement, Hastings says he's proud to join White's campaign.

White first won office in 1998 and has easily won re-election since.

In November, he'll face Republican Jason Helland, who's the state's attorney in Grundy County.

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