Mike Frerichs was born and raised in the small farming community of Gifford, Illinois (pop. 975). His father is a Teamster truck driver and his mother was a university secretary and AFSCME member. He graduated from Rantoul Township High School and four years later he became the first member of his family to graduate from college when in 1995 he received a degree from Yale University. After college, Mike returned home to run a technology start-up and serve as a volunteer fireman. In 2000, Mike was elected to the Champaign County Board and became the Champaign County Auditor in 2002.
In 2007, Mike was sworn in as the 52nd District State Senator, which includes parts of Champaign and Vermilion Counties. In the Legislature, Mike chaired the Agriculture and Conservation Committee, were Mike spearheaded efforts to provided financial assistance to farmers and pushed for expanded use of alternative fuels. Mike later chaired the Higher Education Committee, were he fought to reduce Illinois’ disparities in education funding and expand access to education.
In 2015, Mike was sworn in as Treasurer of Illinois. As the state’s Chief Investment Officer, Mike does more than make wise investments and protect taxpayer dollars, he provides tools to help people invest in themselves. Tools like the Secure Choice program that once implemented will help seniors retire with dignity. Tools like the ABLE program which will help families plan for loved ones with disabilities. And tools like our College Savings that expand access to education by helping families pay for college. Mike believes through these tools and smart investing, the Treasurer’s office can help families achieve the American Dream.
Mike, a Certified Public Finance Officer, resides in Champaign with his daughter Ella. His slogan, “Standing Tall for Illinois,” is a play on his height. At 6 feet 8 inches, Mike is one of the tallest elected officials in Illinois, standing four inches taller than Abraham Lincoln.