House deputy Republican leader to run for treasurer
State Rep. Tom Demmer, a Dixon Republican, announced Tuesday that he will run for state treasurer. If he wins the GOP nomination, he likely would face two-term Democratic incumbent Mike Frerichs, who is seeking reelection.
In Tuesday's announcement, Demmer pledged to oppose tax increases and bring greater transparency to state spending.
"Unfortunately, in Springfield right now, the politicians' answer to every problem is higher taxes and more spending," Demmer said in a statement. "We know Springfield politicians won't change overnight, but we can take an important first step by electing a proven fiscal watchdog as state treasurer. As treasurer, I'll be on the side of Illinois families working to protect their hard-earned dollars and shining a light on how our tax dollars are spent."
Demmer, 35, has been a state representative since 2013. Demmer serves as deputy minority leader and has been the Republicans' point person on state fiscal issues.
Frerichs countered with a statement welcoming Demmer to the race and warning voters that Demmer would undo years of progress and represent big-business interests.
Demmer attacked Frerichs for supporting income tax hikes, including a proposed tax on retirement income. Frerichs pointed to success in creating college saving plans, a retirement plan that travels with workers, and returning more than $1 billion in unclaimed property.
"Tom Demmer opposed every reform I have championed as treasurer, even when other Republicans were on our side," said Frerichs, who has held the office since 2015. "He does not have the conviction to fight for Illinois families, and he does not have the backbone to stand up to special interests."
Demmer will be on the Republican Party ballot in the June 28 primary election. Thursday is the first day to circulate petitions for the primary.