Mike Frerichs

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Mike Frerichs
Frerichs at Conflict of Interest Rule Discussion with Sec Perez in Chicago June 30 2016.jpg
74th Treasurer of Illinois
Assumed office
January 12, 2015
GovernorBruce Rauner
J. B. Pritzker
Preceded byDan Rutherford
Member of the Illinois Senate
from the 52nd district
In office
January 2007 – January 12, 2015
Preceded byRick Winkel
Succeeded byScott Bennett
Auditor of Champaign County
In office
Preceded byGerrie Parr
Succeeded byTony Fabri
Personal details
Born (1973-07-28) July 28, 1973 (age 46)
Gifford, Illinois, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Laura Appenzeller (2003-13)
Children1 daughter
EducationYale University (BA)

Michael W. Frerichs (born July 28, 1973) is the State Treasurer of Illinois, having taken office on January 12, 2015. Prior to being elected treasurer, he was a Democratic member of the Illinois Senate, representing the 52nd District from 2007 until 2015. The district, located in Champaign and Vermilion counties, includes all or parts of Champaign, Danville, Georgetown, Gifford, Rantoul, Thomasboro and Urbana.[1]

Early life and career[edit]

Frerichs was born and raised in the small farming town of Gifford. Upon graduating from Rantoul Township High School, Frerichs attended Yale University and received his BA in 1995. He then attended National Cheng Kung University in Taiwan where he studied Mandarin Chinese while teaching English courses.[2] Upon returning home, Frerichs began to teach at his alma mater and became involved in the community serving on his local volunteer fire department, on the board of a local non-profit nursing home, and as a member of the Urbana Rotary Club.

Champaign County official[edit]

In 1998, Frerichs ran against then-State Representative Tim Johnson and though he lost, it was the closest margin in Johnson’s political career.[3] In 2000 Frerichs was elected to the Champaign County Board and reelected in 2002.[4][5]

Later that year, Frerichs was appointed to succeed Gerrie Parr as the Champaign County Auditor by his fellow board members.[6] As Auditor he was responsible for preparing budget reports, maintaining financial records, ensuring the county meet state and federal reporting requirements, preventing fraud, and improving the financial health of the county.[7] At the time, he was the only auditor in the state to become a Certified Public Finance Officer, a credential he continues to maintain.[8][2] Two years later he was elected to the position.

Illinois State Senator[edit]

In 2005, Frerichs announced he would run for the 52nd Legislative District seat that includes most of Champaign County and Vermilion County to fill the vacancy caused by Rick Winkel’s retirement.[9] In what became the most expensive state senate race of 2006,[10] Senator Frerichs was elected over former Senator Judith Myers by a margin of approximately five hundred votes.[11][12] as the first Democratic State Senator to represent East Central Illinois since 1936.[13]

Frerichs served as Chairman of the Illinois State Senate's Committee on Higher Education[8] and was a past-chair of the Agriculture & Conservation and Enterprise Zone Extensions Committees.[14][15] He also sat on the committees for Financial Institutions, Licensed Activities and Pensions, Public Pensions & State Investments and the Agriculture & Conservation.[8]

During his time in the Senate, Frerichs led efforts to eliminate the corrupt legislative scholarship program,[16] advocated for the disclosure of chemicals used in fracking,[17] and funded improvements at the University of Illinois, Parkland College and Danville Community College while fighting to reduce Illinois' disparities in education funding.[18] After Governor Rod Blagojevich was removed from office for corruption, Frerichs moved to have the former governor barred from ever holding office again in Illinois. This motion carried unanimously.[19]

In the 98th General Assembly, Frerichs served as the chairman of the Higher Education committee[8] and had previously served as chairman of the Agriculture & Conservation and Enterprise Zone Extensions committees.[14][15]

Treasurer of Illinois[edit]

2014 election[edit]

Frerichs announced his intention to run for the vacated office of Treasurer of Illinois in early January 2014, after incumbent Republican Treasurer Dan Rutherford had announced his intention to run for Governor of Illinois. Frerichs ran uncontested in the Democratic Party primary and faced Republican Illinois State Representative and former Illinois State House Minority Leader Tom Cross in the General Election on November 4.[20]

For more than two weeks after election day, the election was too close to call, but eventually Frerichs was declared the winner, defeating Cross 48.1% to 47.8%, as the election ended up being one of the closest in Illinois state history, being decided by only 9,225 votes out of more than 3.5 million ballots cast.[21][22][23]


He was inaugurated on January 12, 2015 and is serving as the 74th Treasurer of Illinois.[24] After less than a year in office, Frerichs was elected by his peers across the country to be on the National Association of State Auditors, Comptrollers and Treasurers' Executive Committee.[25]

Frerichs serves as Vice Chairman of National Association of State Treasurer’s Legislative Committee[26] as well as Trustee on the Illinois State Board of Investment.

Frerichs’ initiatives have centered on encouraging savings plans for college and trade school, increasing financial education among all ages, removing barriers to a secure retirement, and protecting residents from predatory companies. Under Frerichs stewardship the Bright Directions college savings program earned Mornigstar’s Silver Medal two years in a row – the highest rating given to advisor-sold plans[27] – while reducing fees.[28]

In 2015 and 2016 Treasurer Frerichs visited more than a dozen campuses across Illinois to talk with students and school administrators regarding the frustration and fear associated with the lack of funding for the Monetary Award Program (MAP) due to the State’s budget impasse. Consumer protection has played an important role in Frerichs administration, securing $2.3 million in uncashed rebate checks from Sprint and $140,000 from RadioShack and reconnecting the funds with Illinois residents via I-Cash, the State's unclaimed property program.[citation needed]

Frerichs succeeded in leading the call to pass legislation supported unanimously by Democrat and Republican legislators requiring life insurance companies to use the federal Death Master File list to confirm if a policy holder has died and the death benefits have not been paid.[29]

Personal life[edit]

Frerichs married Laura Appenzeller in 2003.[30] They had one daughter in 2008, and divorced in 2013.[31] Frerichs stands 6 feet, 8 inches, making him one of the tallest politicians in Illinois' history, four inches taller than Abraham Lincoln. [32]

Electoral history[edit]

2006 General Election Results – Illinois’s 52nd Senate District [12]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Mike Frerichs 27,149 48.8
Republican Judith Myers 26,607 47.8
Socialist Joseph Parnaraukis 1,894 3.4
Democratic gain from Republican
2010 General Election Results- Illinois's 52nd Senate District [33]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Mike Frerichs 32,583 61.5
Republican Al Reynolds 20,450 38.5
Democratic hold
2012 General Election Results- Illinois's 52nd Senate District [34]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Mike Frerichs 48,493 100
Democratic hold
2014 General Election Results – Illinois’s State Treasurer[35]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Mike Frerichs 1,694,884 48.05
Republican Tom Cross 1,685,659 47.79
Libertarian Matt Skopek 146,654 4.16
Democratic gain from Republican
2018 General Election Results – Illinois’s State Treasurer
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Mike Frerichs 2,593,816 57.6
Republican Jim Dodge 1,710,082 38.9
Libertarian Mike Leheney 155,256 3.5
Democratic hold


  1. ^ Veeneman, Drew. "Map of 52nd District" (PDF). precinctmaps.com. Retrieved 2012-12-19.
  2. ^ a b "Biography". Illinois Senate Democratic Caucus. Retrieved 2013-02-16.
  3. ^ "General Election – 11/3/1998 104th Representative". Illinois State Board of Elections. Retrieved 2013-02-16.
  4. ^ County Clerk Mark Shelden. "Official Results of Champaign County, Illinois General Election November 7, 2000 Final Summary" (PDF). Office of the Champaign County Clerk. Retrieved 2013-02-16.
  5. ^ County Clerk Mark V. Shelden. "Official Results of Champaign County, Illinois General Election November 5, 2002 Final Summary" (PDF). Office of the Champaign County Clerk. Retrieved 2013-02-16.
  6. ^ "County Board Meeting Minutes 19 December 2002" (PDF). Champaign County Recorder.
  7. ^ "Office of the Champaign County Auditor – About the Office". Co.champaign.il.us. Retrieved 17 January 2015.
  8. ^ a b c d "Senator Michael W. Frerichs". Illinois General Assembly Legislative Information Service. Retrieved 2013-02-16.
  9. ^ Monson, Mike. "Champaign County Auditor to seek seat". The News-Gazette. Retrieved 2013-02-16.
  10. ^ "Follow the Money - Illinois Senate 2006". Followthemoney.org.
  11. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-09-04. Retrieved 2015-09-15.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  12. ^ a b "2006 General Election Results-Illinois's 52nd Senate District". Elections.il.gov. Retrieved 17 January 2015.
  13. ^ "Illinois Ag Connection Honors Mike Frerichs". Illinoisagconnection.com. Retrieved 17 January 2015.
  14. ^ a b "97th Agriculture and Conservation". Illinois General Assembly Legislative Information Service. Retrieved 2013-02-16.
  15. ^ a b "97th Enterprise Zone Extensions". Illinois General Assembly Legislative Information Service. Retrieved 2013-02-16.
  16. ^ McFarland, Shannon (2012-05-03). "Illinois Legislative Scholarships Ending? Senate Votes To End Controversial Program". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2013-02-16.
  17. ^ Kacich, Tom. "State bills aim to control 'fracking' to extract natural gas". The News-Gazette. Retrieved 2013-02-16.
  18. ^ "About Mike". Friends of Frerichs. Retrieved 2013-02-16.
  19. ^ Quinn, Celeste. "Illinois Public Radio live coverage from the Illinois Senate, the impeachment trial of Governor Rod Blagojevich". Illinois Public Media, University of Illinois. Retrieved 2013-02-16.
  20. ^ "Tom Cross claims GOP nomination in race for state treasurer". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved January 17, 2015.
  21. ^ Chicago Tribune (November 19, 2014). "Cross concedes defeat in treasurer race - Chicago Tribune". chicagotribune.com. Retrieved January 17, 2015.
  22. ^ "Tom Cross concedes in treasurer's race, giving Frerichs win". Chicago. November 19, 2014. Retrieved January 17, 2015.
  23. ^ "GENERAL ELECTION". Elections.il.gov. Retrieved January 17, 2015.
  24. ^ Chicago Tribune (12 January 2015). "Madigan, White lead other statewide elected officials taking the oath - Chicago Tribune". chicagotribune.com. Retrieved 17 January 2015.
  25. ^ "NASACT Executive Committee". nasact.org. Retrieved 2016-11-13.
  26. ^ "Legislative Committee - National Association of State Treasurers". National Association of State Treasurers. Retrieved 2016-11-13.
  27. ^ Acheson, Leo (2016-10-25). "Morningstar Names Best 529 College-Savings Plans for 2016". Retrieved 2016-11-13.
  28. ^ "Treasurer Michael Frerichs Lowers Fees for Popular College Savings Program" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-11-13 – via illinoistreasurer.gov.
  29. ^ "New state law aims to ensure life insurance firms pay out benefits - Illinois News Network". Illinois News Network. 2016-08-29. Retrieved 2016-11-13.
  30. ^ Dodson, Don (May 15, 2009). "State senator's wife balancing business, family, politics". The News-Gazette. Champaign, Illinois. Retrieved August 4, 2016.
  31. ^ Kacich, Tom (September 8, 2013). "Frerichs divorce". The News-Gazette. Champaign, Illinois. Retrieved August 4, 2016.
  32. ^ https://frerichsforillinois.com/about-mike/. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  33. ^ "2010 General Election Results-Illinois's 52nd Senate District". Elections.il.gov. Retrieved 17 January 2015.
  34. ^ "2012 General Election Results- Illinois's 52nd Senate District". Elections.il.gov. Retrieved 17 January 2015.
  35. ^ "Illinois Secretary of States Official Results" (PDF). Elections.il.gov. Retrieved December 9, 2014.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Dan Rutherford
Treasurer of Illinois