Mike Frerichs Talks Star Wars, Hillary, His Height and More with Reboot Illinois

In our Jan. 15 "Only in Illinois" video, we talked with Illinois Treasurer Mike Frerichs about his first year in office and the challenges he has faced as the state's top investment officer during a time of extreme instability in state finances.

That interview focused on Frerichs' official side.

Today we take a different approach to find out more about Frerichs' non-official side.

What did we learn?

  • Though he's 6-foot-8 and did play basketball in high school, he wasn't a star.
  • Like many parents of small children, his reading and viewing habits have taken a youthful turn.
  • His lifelong baseball allegiance dates back, literally, to the moment he left the womb.
  • He's got high hopes for his candidate in the presidential election in November.

Frerichs grew up in the Champaign County town of Gifford (population 975) in east-central Illinois, and is the only constitutional officer from downstate. He served eight years in the Illinois State Senate before his election as treasurer in 2014.

A Yale graduate who spent time teaching English and studying Mandarin in Taiwan before returning to Champaign County, Frerichs says he's living proof of the adage, "You can take the boy out of the small town, but you can't take the small town out of the boy."

Check out Frerichs' lighter side in this week's "Only in Illinois" video.