I think State Rep. Jack Franks has decided to run for State Comptroller in 2016.
He didn’t show up at the College of DuPage Board meeting to chastise six of the seven Trustees who were about to approve a $763,000 golden parachute for its outgoing President…but he did get quoted in the Chicago Tribune with a pre-meeting threat to cut the college’s state aid by twice the amount of the buyout.
There was another legislator there in person–Jeanne Ives, a Republican State Representative who lives in Wheaton and pays taxes to her junior college.
She was following the advice of Newt Gingrich, who suggested a couple of decades ago that elected officials should play the role of citizen activists.
One wonders where the other legislators who represent DuPage County were that night.
So what does Franks have to do with the College of DuPage?
Why does he care about the ridiculous parting gift for an arrogant junior college president named Robert Breuder?
Generating publicity is a necessary prerequisite for those wanting to run for higher office.
And that’s a talent Franks has mastered.
Not only did his threat get a mention in the Tribune article, but it ended up in the editorial of the Chicago Sun-Times the next day.
But it is worth remembering that when McHenry County College President Walt Packard was awarded a $354,421 Golden Parachute (including 3 1/2 years health coverage) Franks didn’t utter a peep.
Because legislators have not yet been notified of what committees they will be assigned, it is unknown if Franks will be on an appropriations committee where he might be able to deliver on his threat. [A commenter points out that committee assignments have been made, although they were not posted by legislator. After checking all the appropriations committees, I note that Franks serves on none of them…not exactly the resume that a candidate for Comptroller might want to tout.]
Governor Bruce Rauner named Leslie Munger, a Lake County Republican who narrowly lost (less than five percentage points) a state rep. race against Carol Sentes.
This signal that he is running for the Democratic Party nomination for State Comptroller, if that’s what it is, brings good news to the Republican Party of McHenry County.
It would mean that Franks was telling the truth about not running for the at-large County Board Chairmanship in 2016. (Unlike his 1998 broken campaign promise to serve only three terms in the Illinois House.)
That leaves Paula Yensen as a not as threatening a substitute to fill the Democratic Party slot for County Board Chairman.
Any significant fight will have to mounted in the Republican Primary Election where there is no doubt that current Board Chairman Joe Gottemoller will be running for office.
Of high interest for ambitious Republicans in Franks state rep. district will be a vacancy which will most likely go to the winner of the GOP Primary Election.
Those who might be interested are Woodstock Mayor Brian Seger, former Republican challengers Steve Reick and John O’Neill, McHenry County Board member John Hammerand, among others.
This is a district which some as-yet-unknown.entrepreneur willing to spend $150,000 might end up winning.
Franks has over $500,000 in the bank.
Rih Miller is reporting in Crain’s Chicago Business, however, that Evanston’s State Rep. Daniel Biss is more out front that Franks is wanting to run for Comptroller.
And he has over $720,000 in his campaign account.
Franks is obviously more cautious than Biss.