Jack D. Franks

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Jack Franks
Chairman of the McHenry County Board
Assumed office
December 5, 2016 (2016-December-05)
Preceded by Joseph Gottemoller (appointed)
Member of the Illinois House of Representatives
from the 63rd district
In office
January 1999 (1999-January) – January 11, 2017 (2017-January-11)
Preceded by Michael J. Brown
Succeeded by Steve Reick
Personal details
Born (1963-10-02) October 2, 1963 (age 54)
Belvidere, Illinois
Political party Democratic
Residence Marengo, Illinois
Alma mater University of Wisconsin
Washington College of Law
Profession Attorney, politician

Jack D. Franks (born October 2, 1963) is the Chairman of the McHenry County Board, serving since December 2016. Previously, Franks served as a member of the Illinois House of Representatives, representing the 63rd district from 1999 to 2017. His McHenry area district included all or parts of Harvard, Marengo, Woodstock, Bull Valley, Wonder Lake, Illinois, Greenwood, McHenry, Fox Lake, Spring Grove, Johnsburg and Lakemoor.[1]

While in the Illinois House of Representatives, Franks served as chairman of the State Government Administration, beginning in 2003.[2]

Illinois House of Representatives[edit]

Franks was first elected to the Illinois House of Representatives in 1998 defeating the incumbent by 138 votes to become one of the first Democrats to represent the largely Republican McHenry area in the Illinois General Assembly.[3][4]

When Franks initially ran for office, he pledged to serve only three terms,[5][6] however he broke his term limit promise and ultimately served nine terms.

As Chair of the State Government Administration Committee, Franks called for the first audits of a sitting governor in the history of Illinois and was the first Democrat to openly criticize Rod Blagojevich.[7][better source needed] Blagojevich's team questioned Franks' integrity and whether his impeachment hearing request was politically motivated. The Governor's Office released a 2003 memo in which Franks requested patronage hires for family and friends.[8][9]

At one point during his tenure, Franks served on the Illinois Aging Committee, Public Utilities Committee, Chairman of the State Government Administration Committee, Chairman of the International Trade & Commerce Committee, and Vice-Chairman of the Veterans' Affairs Committee.[10]

Notable votes[edit]

Franks and a fellow Democrat, Representative Scott Drury, voted against a plan to tax people with seven-figure incomes, called by some a "millionaire's tax", along with every Republican lawmaker, leaving the Democrats two votes shy of the 71 they need to move it forward.[11]

Franks voted "present" on a labor vote in the House, where Democrats were attempting to override a veto by Governor Bruce Rauner on SB 1229, which would have empowered an arbitrator to settle negotiation disputes between public sector unions and the governor and would have impeded the Governor's ability to force a "lock-out" of state workers during contract negotiations.[12] The House failed to override the Governor's veto by three votes.[12]

McHenry County Board Chairman[edit]

On May 15, 2016, Franks announced he would run for McHenry County Board Chairman in its first popularly held election for the position.[13] Previously, in June 2014, Franks specifically stated he would not run for the position in 2016.[14] On the November 8 general election, Franks defeated Republican county board member Michael Walkup with over 57 percent of the vote, according to unofficial results.[15] Franks was sworn in on December 5, 2016 along with the other County Board members.[16]


Franks is a practicing attorney at the law firm of Franks, Gerkin & McKenna. He holds two degrees: a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science from the University of Wisconsin–Madison and a law degree from the American University Washington College of Law. He is a member of multiple chambers of commerce in the McHenry County area. Franks and his wife, Debby, have two children.[10]


  1. ^ Veeneman, Drew. "Map of 63rd District" (PDF). precinctmaps.com. Retrieved 2013-05-26. 
  2. ^ "Representative Jack D. Franks (D), 63rd District". Illinois General Assembly. Retrieved 2013-05-26. 
  3. ^ Ray Long and Christi Parsons. "Madigan, Philip Retain Majorities In Legislature". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2013-05-26. 
  4. ^ "General Election - 11/3/1998 63rd Representative". Illinois State Board of Elections. Retrieved 2013-05-26. 
  5. ^ "Unknown Title". The Northwest Herald. 1998-09-20. Retrieved 2014-02-15. 
  6. ^ Peterson, Jami (1998-11-04). "Unknown Title". The Northwest Herald. Retrieved 2014-02-15. 
  7. ^ "Rep. Jack Franks". Huffingtonpost.com. Retrieved 2016-03-01. 
  8. ^ "Blagojevich team: Gov.'s critic suggested family, pals for state jobs". www.dailyherald.com. Archived from the original on 2016-08-06. 
  9. ^ "Franks Patronage Request Memo 2003". mchenrycountyblog.com. 
  10. ^ a b "Illinois General Assembly - Representative Biography". Ilga.gov. Retrieved 2016-03-01. 
  11. ^ Ben Yount. "Illinois millionaires' tax dies, but other tax plans very much alive". Watchdog.org. Retrieved 2016-03-01. 
  12. ^ a b "House Dems fail to override Rauner veto of labor bill". Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on December 24, 2015. Retrieved 2016-03-01. 
  13. ^ Craver, Kevin (May 15, 2016). "Jack Franks Announces McHenry County Board Chairman Run". Northwest Herald. Retrieved November 26, 2016. 
  14. ^ Craver, Kevin (June 6, 2014). "Franks Asks County for 2 Advisory Referendums". Northwest Herald. p. 2. Retrieved November 26, 2016. 'I can promise you I am not running for county chairman in 2016. This has nothing to do with me. This is about good government.' 
  15. ^ Craver, Kevin (November 9, 2016). "Democrat Jack Franks Wins First-Ever McHenry County Board Chairman Race". Northwest Herald. Retrieved November 26, 2016. 
  16. ^ Rohr, Lauren (December 5, 2016). "Franks Sworn in as McHenry County's First Chairman Elected by Voters". Daily Herald. Retrieved December 5, 2016. 

External links[edit]