September 29, 2022


Campaign Notebook: Dixon mayor receives local endorsements in statehouse bid

Vote 2022 logo for Sauk Valley election stories

Notices about public campaign appearances in the Sauk Valley should be sent to

The news and notes will run periodically during the election season.

Arellano endorsed in 74th House race

Dixon Mayor Li Arellano Jr., a Republican candidate for the Illinois House District 74, received endorsements from state Rep. Tom Demmer, former state Sen. Tim Bivins and Lee County Treasurer Paula Meyer.

Arellano currently is serving in his second term as mayor of Dixon with focus on fiscal responsibility, local infrastructure and economic development.

“Li Arellano has a long history of service to his community and country, and I know he will represent us well in the Illinois General Assembly,” said Bivins, who also is a former Lee County sheriff.

Arellano is a squad leader in the U.S. Army Reserves’ 317th Engineer Construction Company. He previously served in three combat tours and owns small businesses that include Jimmy John’s in Dixon and Rock Falls, Frosted Spoon Frozen Yogurt in Rock Falls, and a commercial leasing company.

“As a member of the Army Reserves, a small business owner, and mayor, Li Arellano understands the challenges our state faces, and he knows how to fight for what’s right,” said Demmer, who is running for state treasurer. “I’ve been glad to work with Li on countless projects for our area, and he’s been a strong advocate for jobs, public safety, and community improvement. I know he’ll bring that same work ethic to serve us in Springfield.”

Meyer, who was previously the Dixon finance director, said Arellano “has an excellent understanding of the financial challenges that Dixon faced, and that knowledge and experience will serve him well as he tackles the major financial challenges in Springfield.”

“Growing up in the 74th District, running businesses in the district, raising my family here, and serving as Dixon’s mayor gives me a unique insight into the needs of our region,” Arellano said. “Only by working together in Springfield on the issues that people care most about will we make progress for our communities. I am laser-focused on supporting our police to ensure public safety, lowering taxes and fighting tax hikes, empowering parents by keeping politics out of the classroom, and ensuring we have honest and transparent leadership in Springfield.”

Arellano is opposed in the primary by 22-year-old Dixon native Bradley Fritts.

State treasurer’s race

The advantage of incumbency, even when the opponent is an established political figure, was evident in the quarterly campaign finance reports in the state treasurer’s race.

The reports, which show receipts and expenditures from Jan. 1 to March 31, had to be filed by Monday, April 18.

Democratic incumbent Michael Frerichs, by way of the Friends of Frerichs campaign, had a $1.79 million cash balance. He started the filing period with more than $1.8 million.

Demmer is the Republican opponent for the general election. The Team Demmer campaign reported $447,958 in available funds after starting with $532,391.

Demmer spent more than Frerichs in the filing period. Demmer’s outlays were $107,025.53 while Frerichs’ were $84,969.

Demmer’s largest expenditure was a little more than $79,000 to FP1 Strategies, an Arlington, Virginia, campaign consulting and advertising firm that provides digital media messaging.

He also spent $15,450 on campaign signs with Strive Strategies based in Wilmette.

Frerichs devoted $39,375 to Trilogy Interactive, a campaign communications service in Mountain View, California.

The campaign also spent $23,530 on campaign staff salaries and $9,357 on payroll fees and taxes.

Frerichs had $67,802.11 in receipts compared with Demmer at $22,592.21. Frerichs received money transfers of $10,000 from each of three political action committees and one labor group while Demmer’s largest transfers were from two PACs at $5,000 and $3,000, respectively.

No GOP primary for state treasurer

Demmer became the sole candidate in the Republican primary for treasurer when the Illinois State Board of Elections ruled on Thursday there were insufficient valid signatures on petitions for the slate of We Are The People of Illinois candidates.

Patrice McDermand of Lake Bluff was the group’s candidate for treasurer and was one of four who were 155 signatures short of the required number.

The board said some of the slate’s petitions were altered after they had been signed. The board also tossed repeated and invalid signatures.

We Are The People Illinois put forward the slate, stating the unfounded contention that it was voter fraud in 2020 that cost Donald Trump the presidency.

17th House Democratic primary objections

In the crowded Democratic primary field for the 17th District U.S. House, two candidates survived their petition challenges and one did not.

The objections of Jane Austin of Rockford and Anita Skarr of Loves to the petitions filed by Linda McNeely of Rockford were upheld.

In a story March 21, the objection contented that McNeely’s filing packet did not comply with rules governing the circulation of petitions, with signers who were underage and not district residents.

However, the Illinois State Board of Election on Thursday overruled the objections to the petitions of Jacqueline McGowan of Palos Hills and Marsha Williams of Channahon. Both stay in the race.

That puts the primary field at six. The others are Jonathan Logemann of Rockford, Angie Normoyle of Moline, Eric Sorensen of Moline and Litesa Wallace of Rockford.

Congressional endorsement

Normoyle is a member of the Rock Island County board and, as mentioned in the above item, is in the field for the 17th District U.S. House race. She was endorsed by Rock Island Mayor Mark Schwiebert.


Republican candidate meet and greet 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday at Dixon Elks Lodge, 1279 Franklin Grove Road, Dixon, sponsored by the Lee County Republican Central Committee.

Rachel Rodgers

Rachel Rodgers

Rachel Rodgers joined Sauk Valley Media in 2016 covering local government in Dixon and Lee County.

Troy Taylor

Troy E. Taylor

Was named editor for and the Gazette and Telegraph in 2021. An Illinois native, he has been a reporter or editor in daily newspapers since 1989.