State Rep. Tom Demmer announces run for Illinois treasurer

Dixon Republican has served in General Assembly since 2013

DIXON – State Rep. Tom Demmer will be running for state treasurer after nearly a decade in office, he announced Tuesday morning.

The 35-year-old Dixon Republican has served in the 90th House District since 2013, and he announced interest in running for statewide office - such as treasurer or secretary of state - last year after legislative maps were redrawn that would take him out of the 90th District. Lee and Whiteside counties are now consolidated into the 74th District.

“I’m running because we deserve a treasurer who’s looking out for us,” Demmer said in a 2-minute video announcement on social media.

He said he’s a “proven financial watchdog” and that he would advocate for tax cuts for the middle class and putting families first in Springfield.

Demmer, the Illinois House deputy minority leader, cited his previous work as the leading Republican on the House Special Investigating Committee of former longtime Democratic Speaker Michael Madigan. He’s also one of the House Republicans’ lead negotiators on the state budget and Medicaid legislation.

Demmer said that the state’s problems are too often addressed with higher taxes and more spending, and how “corruption and bloated government drain taxpayer dollars.”

“Growing up and now raising my family in Illinois, I’ve seen too many friends and neighbors leave for better opportunities and lower taxes in other states, and when Illinois families leave, it’s communities that pay the price,” he said.

Demmer, who’s the director of innovation and strategy at KSB Hospital in Dixon, described Democratic Treasurer Michael Frerichs as a “cog in the corrupt Springfield machine.” Frerichs was elected to the position in 2014.

Demmer will appear on the Republican ballot during the June 28 primary election.

Frerichs was quick to criticize Demmer’s record as a legislator in a phone conversation with a Shaw Media reporter on Tuesday.

“Tom Demmer has opposed every reform I’ve championed as treasurer,” he said.

That included legislation in 2017 to make it easier for survivors of deceased family members to claim life insurance benefits — which was made law when the Senate voted to override then-Gov. Bruce Rauner’s veto. Demmer voted against passage.

Frerichs touted his own record including establishing the Bright Start College Savings Plan and the Secure Choice savings plan that moves with workers from job to job.

Rachel Rodgers

Rachel Rodgers

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