As of Thursday morning, the outcome of the nasty, surprisingly competitive race between Illinois treasurer candidates Tom Cross and Mike Frerichs was too close to call.
Each pulled in 48 percent of the vote, resulting in an unofficial draw of sorts, with Republican Cross slightly leading by a slim margin of 14,373 votes out of 3 million-plus submitted. Libertarian challenger Matthew Skopek drew 4 percent of the vote.
"It's a statistical dead heat," Frerichs rep Dave Clarkin tells the Daily Herald, expressing optimism that the Democratic state senator could surpass Cross when all the votes are counted. Clarkin cited "tens of thousands of ballots" waiting to be tallied.
If Cross wins (and the odds are good on the heels of GOP-er Bruce Rauner's governor victory) he would replace current Illinois investor-in-chief Dan Rutherford, a Republican, who opted out of a second term. The Oswego resident was House Minority Leader for 11 years before resigning in 2013 to campaign for treasurer.
Frerichs, who's represented Central Illinois' 52nd district for the past seven years, was a key player in leading the charge to boycott imprisoned former Gov. Rod Blagojevich from ever running for office in Illinois.
The rivals sparred on the everything from the Illinois budget to Israel. Both "evolved" their conservative views on wedge issues like gay marriage (Cross now supports) and abortion (Frerichs is now pro-choice). Given the mutual vitriol, Neither will easily accept defeat.