Five big issues for voters
Election Day is less than 100 days away and although things are quiet now, the political season will begin to percolate around Labor Day. Here are five things to watch this election season in East Central Illinois, care of staff writer TOM KACICH:
1. Rauner vs. Quinn
This year's gubernatorial race will be the most expensive in Illinois history. Republican Bruce Rauner has already raised $30 million in 19 months; incumbent Pat Quinn has brought in $13.7 million.
Early polls show Rauner is ahead.
2. Ammons vs. Williamson
Republicans haven't held the Illinois House seat for Champaign-Urbana since 2002. They think they can get it back this year with Kristin Williamson, who has outraised Democrat Carol Ammons.
3. Davis vs. Callis
Republican Rodney Davis won the 13th Congressional District race in 2012 by 1,002 votes. Democrats believe they have a better candidate this year in former Judge Ann Callis, but Davis now has more money and the advantages of incumbency.
4. Champaign's school bond issue
If the Champaign school board votes to put a $150 million bond issue on the ballot — $98 million for a new Central High School, $52 million for a renovated Centennial High School — it would be the largest in Champaign County history, surpassing a $65.9 million school construction issue in Champaign in March 2006.
That one lost, 64 percent to 36 percent.
5. A shot at history
Democrat Mike Frerichs is seeking to become the first Champaign County resident since Superintendent of Public Instruction Vernon L. Nickell (1943-59) to be elected to a statewide executive office. Standing in his way: Rep. Tom Cross, the former minority leader of the Illinois House.