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'The Election File' voting guide: So, who's running for Illinois treasurer?

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You know about the candidates for governor (and if you don’t, go here for the Dems and here for the GOP). You probably even have a good idea about the U.S. Senate race. But what about a bit farther down the ballot? Lieutenant governor, comptroller or treasurer? Those races have definitely gotten overlooked thanks to some of the bigger-ticket contests. So today we begin our Election File voting guides with the race for treasurer.

Alexi Giannoulias decided to run for U.S. Senate rather than a second term as state treasurer. Alexi Giannoulias is leaving the job after a single term to run for U.S. Senate. The Republican and Green Party candidates have free rides in their primaries, with no such luck for the Democratic candidates. The Job Description “The Treasurer, in accordance with law, shall be responsible for the safekeeping and investment of monies and securities deposited with him, and for their disbursement upon order of the Comptroller." (Article 5, Section 18 of the Illinois Constitution) The Democrats The de-facto incumbent in this race is Robin Kelly. That’s because she’s served as Giannoulias’ chief of staff since 2007, leaving the legislature to take the job. That means this native of south suburban Matteson can boast of an intimate knowledge of the day-to-day operations of the office, but it also means she has partial ownership of her boss’ record (for better or worse). Kelly’s being challenged in the primary by Chicagoan Justin Oberman, a businessman and former Department of Homeland Security official whose dad is former independent Alderman Marty Oberman. For their plans and positions on the issues, check out their websites: Kelly’s, Oberman’s. A lot of the back-and-forth of this campaign has focused on the state’s Bright Start college savings program, administered by the treasurer’s office. Oberman has gone after Kelly for losses in one of the funds. Kelly responded, saying Oberman has “blatantly misrepresent[ed] the facts." Oberman then responded to the response. Kelly swept the big Chicago area newspaper endorsements. The Tribune was “really impressed with her performance in the legislature and her work in the treasurer’s office." The Sun-Times called her the only Democratic candidate with “the right experience, temperament and background for the job." The Daily Herald says Kelly will “reach out to citizens" and says her “experience will facilitate an easy transition." And the SouthtownStar says this “Southland resident"¦checks her ego at the door"¦stays above the political fray"¦ [and has a] no-nonsense approach to public service." As of the end of last month, Oberman had about $125,000 in his campaign account (see who donated to him). Kelly had about $80-grand. (see who donated to her). The Green The only Green Party candidate running for treasurer is attorney Scott Summers, from Harvard, Illinois. You can read about his positions at his website. Summers ran unsuccessfully for a judgeship in 2006. The Republican State Senator Dan Rutherford is running unopposed in the Republican primary for treasurer. Rutherford, of Chenoa, ran for secretary of state against Democratic incumbent Jesse White in 2006, capturing just 33 percent of the vote. Check out his website here, and his money here. Up Next Also this week, we’ll look at the races for comptroller and lieutenant governor. We’ll spare you details about the primaries for Illinois secretary of state and attorney general; they’re uncontested.

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