Frerichs' campaign fund filling up for run at statewide office

Frerichs' campaign fund filling up for run at statewide office

SPRINGFIELD — State Sen. Mike Frerichs, D-Champaign, who is considering a run for statewide office in November 2014, already has more than $500,000 in his campaign treasury.

Frerichs' latest campaign disclosure report shows that he had $515,111 on hand on March 31, after a first quarter in which he raised $171,315 and spent $31,076.

Frerichs, who represents the 52nd District that includes Champaign and Vermilion counties, won re-election to a new four-year term last November. Months later, though, he told supporters that he was considering running for a statewide office.

Although Frerichs has never formally stated which office he is considering, Champaign County Democratic Party Chairman Al Klein, in an email to Democrats this week, said that Frerichs "is organizing a campaign for state treasurer."

Frerichs said Tuesday that "I think that Al is probably getting a little ahead of himself."

The current state treasurer, Republican Dan Rutherford, is considering running for the GOP nomination for governor next March. Frerichs has background in government finance, having served as Champaign County auditor.

"As a certified public finance officer, it's one of the offices I'm looking at," he said.

He said he wouldn't make a decision on his political future until after the Legislature's spring session, which is set to end May 31.

"I think there are other opportunities to serve the people of the state," he said. "But I'm not any closer to making a decision because I still have work I need to do here in Springfield. We still have to pass a budget. We need to come to some solution for our pension problems. And we still need to come to some sort of a compromise on concealed-carry."

Frerichs said Tuesday that he was pleased with his fundraising in the first quarter of 2013.

"What I've been encouraged by is the breadth of support I've received, from donors from cities and counties throughout the state of Illinois. For someone who's just started out exploring, it's heartening to see that kind of support," Frerichs said.

His biggest single contribution was $8,000 from Senate President John Cullerton, D-Chicago. But he also got $5,000 donations from AFSCME, the Illinois Laborers union, the Illinois Federation of Teachers, the Associated Fire Fighters of Illinois, state Sen. Heather Steans, D-Chicago, Danville businessman Lou Mervis, Champaign developer Peter Fox and Joe Patt of New York City.

In his quarterly report, Frerichs disclosed more than $100,000 in individual contributions and almost $70,000 in transfers from political action committees, unions and other Democratic officeholders.

Among Frerichs' expenditures was $6,000 to Nancy Kohn Consulting in Chicago, and $255 for training to the Government Finance Officers Association.

Kohn, Frerichs said, is a fundraising consultant whose only other statewide client is U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Springfield.

He said he has been a certified public finance officer since he was county auditor. "Part of keeping that certification is continuing education," he said. "I think the requirement is 30 hours of classes a year."

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