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After decade as minority leader, Tom Cross heading down new path

Longtime Illinois House Republican minority leader Tom Cross officially launched his bid for Illinois Treasurer on Wednesday, vowing to “honestly” balance the state budget and add an investigative arm to the office to root out fraud.

Cross, 55, makes the move after spending more than a decade as minority leader in the Illinois House. The Oswego Republican was initially elected in 1992.

“I want to fix the state, I want to make it better,” Cross told reporters on Wednesday. “I have enjoyed my time in the General Assembly. I think we did a lot of good things in the General Assembly. I felt like at the end of the day that I could make a bigger difference – as a fiscal watchdog for the state’s money.”

DuPage County Auditor Bob Grogan is also running in the Republican primary. A CPA, Grogan’s motto is: “Illinois has never elected a CPA as state treasurer, now is the time.”

State Sen. Mike Frerichs (D-Champaign) is seeking the Democratic nomination.

Cross, a former prosecutor, said there’s more to the job than knowing numbers.

“You need someone in there who knows the budget … you need someone who understands how we got here and how we need to get out,” Cross said.