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.