Election: Arellano, Fritts to face off for 74th House District

Dixon Republicans vying for state representative

Election 2024
Republicans Bradley Fritts (left) and Li Arellano Jr. (right) are vying for the same seat to represent the 74th District in the Illinois House of Representatives and will face off during the June 28 Primary. (Bradley Fritts photo provided by Bradley Fritts. Li Arellano Jr. photo is a Shaw Local file photo by Alex T. Paschal.)

DIXON – Voters will decide between two Dixon Republicans on Tuesday to fill Illinois’ 74th House District.

Dixon Mayor and businessman Li Arellano Jr. will face off against farmer and teacher Bradley Fritts on the Republican primary ballot for state representative. No Democrats are running for the seat.

The 74th House District includes parts of Lee, Whiteside, Ogle, DeKalb and La Salle counties.

Arellano said he believes the key issues facing his district include tax relief, public safety, and education policy and funding, including paying down the state’s pension debt.

“To get tax relief, especially on property taxes, we need Illinois to eliminate expensive mandates on local government, which I’ve seen firsthand as a local mayor, and pay down the massive state pension debt,” he said. “For public safety, we need to support our police departments while doing a better job ensuring the American dream is available to anyone ... no matter where they live or what their socio-economic situation. Both prevention and enforcement have roles to play in tackling crime.

“Education funding, like tax relief, is heavily tied to paying down pension debt. Illinois pays billions of dollars in debt payment that should have been going to education – and infrastructure, and a host of other budgetary items.

“Illinois’ long-standing budget failures tie into almost all of these areas. As such, the key to our future lies in honestly and aggressively tackling our debt issues and state overspending. State debt payments have deeply damaged many budget items that should be bigger priorities in our state.”

Illinois State House District 74 candidate Liandro Arellano, Jr.

Arellano owns Jimmy John’s in Dixon and Rock Falls and co-owns the Frosted Spoon in Rock Falls. He’s also a sergeant in the Army Reserves and served three combat tours. Elected in 2015, he is the city’s first Latino mayor and its first in the city manager form of government.

He and his wife, Jamie, have four children.

He also has served on the Illinois Municipal League board of directors, the Lee-Ogle Enterprise Zone Board and the Lee County Industrial Development Association.

Fritts said he believes top issues include roads, workforce shortages and effects from the COVID-19 pandemic, including a loss of learning for Illinois students.

“Deteriorating roads is the most common complaint I hear from district voters,” he said. “Not long ago, another 19-cent gas tax was imposed to help rebuild and maintain roads. Even with this new revenue, we still have roads in dire need of repair. I would work with [the Illinois Department of Transportation] to develop and fund a plan to resurface roads in a timely manner.

“Workforce shortages are a major issue, particularly in trades, health care and schools. I will work with our local community colleges to help create or build upon programs designed to address these shortages at low cost to the students.

“The third issue we face are the long-term effects of COVID, particularly in school districts. I have seen firsthand students who are multiple grade levels behind in their curriculum due to lost time in the classroom during COVID. As a recent student and now an educator, I will work with teachers, administration and parents to develop commonsense solutions for moving forward from COVID’s consequences.”

Bradley Fritts meets with well-wishers Friday afternoon at Riverfront Park in Dixon moments after declaring his candidacy to seek the Republican nomination to run for the statehouse's 74th District.

Fritts farms with his family and is a substitute social sciences teacher at Newman Central Catholic High School.

He’s a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Newman Central Catholic High School.

He is the son of Nancy and Dixon Township Supervisor Ed Fritts.