Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Cross considers bid for treasurer

By Jamey Dunn

House Minority Leader Tom Cross is mulling a run for state treasurer.

Cross was considering running for attorney general but scrapped that idea after Attorney General Lisa Madigan decided to seek reelection. Madigan had said she was considering a run for governor but later announced she would not seek the office as long as her father, House Speaker Michael Madigan, retained his leadership position in the legislature.

Cross reportedly held a conference call this morning to discuss his plans with members of his caucus. Cross told his members that he plans to serve out his term in office, but he would give up his leadership position this fall. He has been minority leader since 2002.

“As I consider the challenge of serving Illinois at a higher level, I did ask my colleagues in the House Republican caucus to begin the process of a succession plan so that a new leader may be chosen in preparation for the 2014 elections,” Cross said in a prepared statement. He said he will officially announce his plans in the next two weeks.

 Champaign Sen. Mike Frerichs, whose candidacy for treasurer was recently endorsed by the Cook County Democratic Party, did not waste time striking out at Cross.

“State House Republican Leader Cross has been a Springfield insider for over two decades, during which he contributed to many of the most hazardous fiscal decisions leading to our current financial crisis,” said a statement from Frerichs’ campaign. “Leader Cross has championed a Republican caucus which has lost touch with the middle class and has sought to cut to the core the very programs that working families across Illinois depend on, like public schools and programs to protect Illinois’ seniors. I look forward to a vigorous and exciting debate about how best to protect the retirement security and college savings of working- and middle-class families.”

DuPage County Auditor Bob Grogan and DuPage County Board Chairman Bob Schillerstrom, both Republicans, are also exploring bids for treasurer. Chicago businessman Michael Scott Carter, a Republican, is also running.  A request for comment from Grogan was not returned, a campaign staffer for Schillerstrom declined to comment and Carter could not be reached for comment.


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