Frerichs schedules formal candidacy announcements
CHAMPAIGN — State Sen. Mike Frerichs, D-Champaign, seeking to become the first statewide executive officeholder from Champaign County in more than 50 years, is scheduled to formally announce his candidacy for state treasurer on Wednesday.
Frerichs officially filed for the office in November and is unopposed in the March 18 Democratic primary election. At last report he had more than $833,000 in his campaign fund.
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He is scheduled to make candidacy announcements in four cities — Chicago, Rock Island, Peoria and Champaign — on Wednesday, ending with a 7:30 p.m. rally at the Illinois Terminal Building, 45 E. University Ave., C.
At his stops in Chicago and Rock Island, Frerichs will be joined by U.S. Reps. Robin Kelly of Chicago and Cheri Bustos of East Moline, respectively.
If elected in November, Frerichs would be the first person from Champaign County elected on a statewide basis to an executive office since Superintendent of Public Instruction Vernon Nickell, a Republican from Champaign, was re-elected to a fourth term in 1954.
"Over the past year I've traveled to 79 of the 102 counties in Illinois, and attended hundreds of events across our beautiful and diverse state," said Frerichs, who grew up in nearby Gifford. "I believe it is fundamentally important to the working people of Illinois to take this office back for the middle class. The treasurer's office works on issues that are bedrocks to a thriving economy and a stable middle class — issues like college savings, infrastructure investment, support for small businesses, low-interest loans to our farmers, and directing investments in the state's $16 billion in pension funds. I pledge to bring accountability, transparency and competency to Illinois' finances, and to put state investments to work to help build out the middle class."
The current state Treasurer is Dan Rutherford, a Republican who is running for governor.
Frerichs' likely Republican opponent, state Rep. Tom Cross of Oswego, already is running radio commercials attacking him for his vote for a 67 percent income tax increase in 2011. The radio spot aired on WDWS in Champaign on Tuesday and is scheduled to run for a week. It also is running on stations in Springfield and Bloomington, said Cross campaign Manager Kevin Artl.
"Frerichs and Governor Quinn raised taxes on families and employers by 67 percent, the most in Illinois history," said the commercial.
Frerichs, 40, is a former Champaign County Board member and Champaign County auditor who was elected to the state Senate in 2006 and reelected in 2010 and 2012. His Senate district includes most of the population of both Champaign and Vermilion counties.