ILLINOIS (WMBD) — Two candidates with different backgrounds are hoping to get the Republican nomination for Secretary of State.

WMBD’s Matt Sheehan took a closer look at the race, after hosting both candidates during On the Record.

A state representative and a former U.S. attorney, the candidates are two men looking to flip the Secretary of State’s office red for the first time in 23 years.

With Secretary of State Jesse White retiring, now it is time for a new person to take over the role.

One candidate is Republican State Representative Dan Brady (R-Normal). Brady was elected the McLean County Coroner in 1992 and re-elected in 1996. Now he represents the 105 District.

Brady told WMBD his work with Jesse White over the years has prepared him to be the next Secretary of State.

“It’s an office I’ve always aspired to. From my background in county government, like the McLean County Coroner, and dealing with so many things from organ tissue donations, distracted driving issues, and teen driving,” Brady said. “Once I stepped on the stage in Springfield, I began a relationship with Secretary White from the standpoint of State Representative and working with him on legislation.”

Brady said this work continued during his time in Springfield, when he would work with White on legislation.

“Insurance, senior service issues from the Secretary of State’s Office,” Brady said. “Once I stepped on the stage in Springfield, I began a relationship with Secretary White from the standpoint of State Representative and working with him on legislation.”

His opponent is former U.S. Attorney John Milhiser. Milhiser was the Sangamon County State’s Attorney from 2010-2018.

He currently teaches government history in Springfield. He was an attorney in some major crime trials right here in Peoria.

“When I came in, I had several priorities. One was to reduce violent crime in those cities in the Central District of Illinois, and to work on partnerships with local, state, and federal law enforcement,” Milhiser said. “One trial that stands out, was from here in Peoria. The Bomb Squad Trial. 13 members of a Peoria street gang which were convicted in a several weeks-long trial.”

Milhiser has been running his campaign with his law background at the forefront, saying corruption is a major focus of his.

“The only way to root out that corruption is to root it out from the inside. To elect strong, ethical leaders in state government,” Milhiser said.

Brady said one focus he has, if elected, is on the technology in the Secretary of State’s office.

“We have close to 100 DMVs across the State of Illinois. How can they be upgraded? We have sections of the Secretary of State’s Office that are on different systems of technology when it comes to computerization, and can’t even talk to each other,” Brady said.

When asked why he chose to run for Secretary of State and not Attorney General, Milhiser had the following response:

“During my years as a prosecutor, I worked closer with the Secretary of State’s Office than I did with the Attorney General’s Office. Through different initiatives, programs, and different task forces,” Milhiser responded.

Each candidate will appear on Republican ballots statewide.

The Illinois primary election is on June 28.

Sheehan has made contact with each Democratic Secretary of State candidate to do a full profile on their Primary race as well. Viewers can expect this report in the next few weeks.