MCHENRY – Sunday, McHenry County Democrats met and chose State Rep. Jack Franks (D-McHenry) as their candidate to run for county board chairman against Republican board member Mike Walkup.
Franks has decided not to run for re-election in November, endangering Illinois House Speaker Madigan's 71-member super majority.
"I think that the dysfunction in Springfield has really gotten to me," the outspoken Franks told the Daily Herald.
Franks' decision not to seek his 10th term shifted Republican-leaning McHenry County's political landscape and Republican House candidate Steve Reick reacted by posting the following commentary on his website Sunday night:
After weeks of speculation, it’s official. Jack Franks has been slated by the Democrats to run for Chairman of the McHenry County Board and will not seek re-election to his legislative seat here in the 63rd District.
First off, I wish to thank Jack for his 18 years of service to McHenry County. Public service requires personal sacrifice, and we should acknowledge the sacrifices Jack and his family made in furtherance of that service. I wish him and his family well.
Though I lost to him in 2014 and was prepared to go toe-to-toe with him in the fall, I was never running “against” Jack Franks. I was, and still am running for the things that I believe will make Illinois and McHenry County a better place to live, open a business and raise a family. Those things include:
- Lowering property taxes. Until we see a reduction in local property taxes, we will continue to lose businesses and population to states with lower taxes. Property tax reform can only come about if we:
- Change the way we pay for education. The state constitution puts the primary responsibility for funding education on the state. The only way to enact true education funding reform is to put that responsibility where it belongs and to expand parents’ role in determining where and how their children are educated.
- Pension reform: So long as 25% of our general revenue budget goes to pay our underfunded pensions, we’re never going to get a budget that meets the legitimate needs of those who rely on the State for their funding.
- Regulatory relief: Illinois’ businesses are burdened with out of control workers’ compensation costs, an unrealistic prevailing wage system and other regulatory burdens which make it almost impossible to compete. Governor Rauner carried this District by 36% in 2014, and he did so by promising to enact those reforms. I pledge to help him fulfill that mandate.
It’s time to get serious about the future of this State and McHenry County. I pledge to the people of the 63rd District that I’m committed to representing you and no other, and that I’ll carry on the tradition of having a strong, independent voice for you in Springfield. I ask for your support.
I was in Springfield last week with a group lobbying for school funds. We met and spoke to various legislators. We saw Franks in the Stratton Building and he literally ran down the corridor to exit the building as soon as he could. Obviously, we never managed to speak to him. It did reinforce the impression that he is sick of serving in the General Assembly.