Our endorsement: Cross for Illinois treasurer
With incumbent Dan Rutherford stepping down after a failed gubernatorial GOP primary bid, the race for Illinois state treasurer is between two state legislators.
We believe Republican Tom Cross, 56, of Oswego is the stronger candidate, and he earns our endorsement. Cross is the former minority leader in the House and has the breadth of experience we think is important for statewide office. As we said when endorsing him in the GOP primary, we like his aggressive attitude toward making the office more vocal and involved when it comes to the state's troubled finances. Cross has vowed to hold the legislature and governor accountable in court if they do not pass a balanced budget as the state Constitution mandates. Having another statewide officer demanding accountability is a welcome approach to an office that also manages the state's investments and financial programs like the Bright Start college savings program.
State Sen. Mike Frerichs, a 41-year-old Democrat from Champaign, touts his experience as a county auditor and says the treasurer should not take on duties that are not assigned to the office. Both candidates say they will provide more transparency and greater efficiencies if elected. However, Cross in our view is more committed to merging the comptroller and treasurer's offices, an idea we strongly support.
Also running in the Nov. 4 election is Libertarian Matthew Skopek.