Champaign senator holds pep rally, prepares for re-election campaign

Senator Mike Frerichs of the Champaign and Vermilion Counties held a pep rally Wednesday to kick off his re-election campaign for next November’s election.

“Senator Frerich is obviously one of the next generation of leaders in the Illinois Senate,” said Simon Rosenzweig, local volunteer for the campaign and member of the Democratic party. “In a few decades, he will be one of the public faces of the Illinois Democratic party.”

Frerichs continues to focus on renewable energy, funding of higher education, and creating a favorable business climate.

“We would really like to decrease inequality between school districts in the state of Illinois,” Frerichs said. “Another one (policy issue) is renewable energy sources. We need to do more to decrease our dependence on foreign sources of energy. We have some great capabilities here in Illinois, whether it be biocrops or wind power.”

Frerichs said he has sponsored several pieces of legislation that would allocate money towards research and development of alternative renewable fuels.

There has not yet been a Republican opponent to file against him in his re-election campaign. With no competitor so far, he plans on scaring opponents out of the race by focusing on the rest of the ticket for the next election.

Frerichs also mentioned his involvement in helping to solve the lack of MAP grant funding for the University.

“I was a sponsor in the Senate for the bill that increased authorization of the governor to fully fund the program,” said Frerichs.

Caitlin Doyle, intern at Frerichs’s legislative office and senior in LAS, emphasized the senator’s involvement in reinstating the MAP grant.

“He sponsored the bill to reinstate the MAP grant funding,” she said. “He wants to get everything back on track.”

Doyle added that Frerichs has a lot of policies in which she believes, including the senator’s views on higher education.

Abby Erwin, president of the College Democrats and senior in LAS, said she thought Frerichs’s legislation will bring a positive light to the University.

“The University is in a heap of trouble,” said Erwin. “We hope to get a lot of student support again (for the campaign).”

Erwin said Frerichs has helped to bring in funds for the University, including money for the restoration of Lincoln Hall.

“He has accomplished more in his first term than anyone could expect,” said Al Klein, county chairman of the Democratic party. “He’s been doing good work.”