52nd Senate Candidates Now Focused on Fall Contest
The two candidates now remaining in next fall's race for the 52nd District Senate race have different approaches on how to solve Illinois' fiscal problems.
But neither Republican John Bambenek nor incumbent Democrat Mike Frerichs want to focus on why Alan Nudo dropped his bid for the GOP nomination.
Nudo announced his withdrawal from the race, and resignation from the Champaign County Board, after a political blogger accused him of supporting Frerichs in the past, by co-signing checks to a previous campaign.
Frerichs says he's been asked whether Nudo signed checks, but the Senator says he's not interested in fighting that fight.
"Democrats have taken action to begin to right the ship of state here in Illinois," Frerichs said. "What I think we need to focus on though is fairness in our tax system, and some progressivity in our tax system. I think there is some disagreement, but I'm looking forward to a debate season where we'll outline those differences and the voters will have a choice next fall."
Nudo says he signed the campaign donation checks as part of his job handling day to day accounting for a development firm, and accused Frerichs and Bambenek of collusion in making the charge. But he later said his accusation was a "mistake".
In a statement released Sunday, Bambenek says he wants to unify the Republican Party. He called Nudo 'a respected member of the community whose leadership will be missed on the county board.' But Bambenek also hoped to earn the support of some Nudo supporters.
"At this point in the general election race, what will be a very high-profile race, I would need all the help that I can get," he said. "I do hope to earn the support of those who have supported Alan, and those around him."
In his statement, Bambenek referred to his fall opponent as Democrat 'tax-hike' Frerichs, saying the best way to fix those problems is not through raising taxes, but to cut waste, fraud and abuse. Nudo didn't return a call seeking comment Monday.
UPDATE: Bambenek issued a statement Tuesday, concluding that Nudo played no role in the donation to Frerichs' campaign, and is neither an owner nor a decision-maker for Triple-R Development.
"I regret that this information was disseminated by my campaign and/or supporters before all the facts behind the issue were fully vetted," Bambenek said. "I wish Mr. Nudo the best in his future endeavors and am grateful for his leadership in the Republican Party and community at large.