Tom Cross (politician)

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For other people with the same name, see Tom Cross (disambiguation).
Tom Cross
Tom Cross.jpg
Member of the Illinois House of Representatives from the 97th district
In office
January 1993 (1993-01) – January 14, 2015 (2015-01-14)
Succeeded by Mark Batinick
Minority Leader of the Illinois House of Representatives
In office
January 2002 – August 29, 2013
Preceded by Lee Daniels
Succeeded by Jim Durkin
Personal details
Born (1958-07-31) July 31, 1958 (age 58)
Nashville, Tennessee
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Genie Cross
Children Two
Residence Oswego, Illinois
Alma mater Cumberland Law School
Illinois Wesleyan University
Profession Attorney
Religion United Methodist

Tom Cross (born July 31, 1958) is a Republican member of the Illinois House of Representatives, representing the 97th district (previously the 84th district) where he served from 1993 to 2015. He served as House Minority Leader from January 2002 to August 2013, when he resigned to run for Illinois Treasurer.[1]

Political career[edit]

During his time as House Republican leader, Cross joined with then Senate Republican leader Frank Watson to referee the "rancorous" relationship between House and Senate Democrats and Democratic Governor Rod Blagojevich.[2]

In February 2009, Cross and fellow Republican, ranking impeachment committee member Jim Durkin, spoke out about a follow-on controversy over the impeachment testimony of then-U.S. Senator Roland Burris. Burris had been named by Blagojevich to fill President Barack Obama's Senate seat, after the emergence of the corruption charges against Blagojevich but before Blagojevich's removal from office.

Burris had reportedly not mentioned fund-raising contacts allegedly made to him by Blagojevich's brother, Robert Blagojevich, in his testimony, but then filed an affidavit with Democrat impeachment committee chair Barbara Flynn Currie, listing three such contacts, shortly after February 5. Word of the new information did not reach the public, or the Republicans in the House, until its release in the Chicago Sun-Times on February 13. Cross was quoted as saying "We [Republicans] find it ironic that at the same time Democrats are forming a new committee to clean up corruption, they are sitting on critical information related to the biggest corruption scandal our state has ever seen."[3]

2014 Candidacy for Illinois Treasurer[edit]

Incumbent Treasurer Dan Rutherford ran for Illinois Governor, leaving the seat of Illinois Treasurer open. After considering running for Illinois Attorney General, Cross decided to run for Treasurer.[4] He faced DuPage County Auditor Bob Grogan in the Republican primary on March 18, 2014, but defeated him, 57%-43%.[5] Cross went on to face Democratic nominee Mike Frerichs in the general election on November 4, 2014.[4][5]

For more than two weeks after election day, the election was too close to call, but eventually Frerichs emerged as the winner of the race with a lead of over 9,000 votes out of more than 3.5 million ballots cast.[6][7]

Personal life[edit]

Tom lives in Oswego with his wife and two children.

In April 2016, Cross's brother Scott came forward as being "Individual D" in the trial of former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert. Scott Cross testified that, in 1979, while a student at Yorkville High School, he was one of the victims of sexual abuse by Hastert, who was at that time a teacher and wrestling coach at that school. Tom Cross, unaware of the incident, subsequently became a political protege of Hastert's. After Scott Cross's testimony, Tom Cross issued a statement on behalf of the Cross family that said "We are very proud of Scott for having the courage to relive this very painful part of his life in order to ensure that justice is done today.. We hope his testimony will provide courage and strength to other victims of other cases of abuse to speak out and advocate for themselves.".[8]


  1. ^ "Big GOP guns back Cross' treasurer run, but House Republicans suffer". Chicago Business. September 13, 2013. Retrieved November 24, 2013. 
  2. ^ Bernstein, David (February 2008). "Mr. Un-Popularity". Chicago Magazine. Retrieved 2008-11-09. 
  3. ^ "Burris Defends His Evolving Description of Talks", Monica Davey, The New York Times, Feb. 16, 2009, page A9 Retrieved 2-15-09.
  4. ^ a b "Tom Cross Illinois Treasurer Candidate Bio". Reboot Illinois. Retrieved January 2, 2015.
  5. ^ a b Manchir, Michelle (March 18, 2014) - "Cross Claims GOP Nomination in Race for State Treasurer". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved January 2, 2015.
  6. ^ Pearson, Rick & Long, Ray (November 19, 2014) - "Frerichs Claims Victory in Close Illinois Treasurer's Race". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved January 2, 2015.
  7. ^ Korecki, Natasha (November 19, 2014) - "Tom Cross Concedes in Treasurer's Race, Giving Frerichs Win" - Early & Often. Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved January 2, 2015.
  8. ^ Gutowski, Christy; Meisner, Jason; Coen, Jeff (28 April 2016). "Hastert victim finally confronts man who had been 'a key figure in my life'". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 30 April 2016. 

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