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Morrissey kicks off campaign for Lee County Treasurer

Amboy Democrat running against incumbent of nearly 20 years

Published: Tuesday, June 10, 2014 1:15 a.m. CST • Updated: Tuesday, June 10, 2014 8:31 a.m. CST
Caption
(Alex T. Paschal/apaschal@saukvalley.com)
Lee County Board member Wes Morrissey, D-Amboy, kicks off his campaign for county treasurer Monday during a dinner at The Long Branch Saloon in Amboy. Morrissey will face John Fritts, who has been treasurer for nearly 20 years, in the Nov. 4 general election.
Caption
(Alex T. Paschal/apaschal@saukvalley.com)
Lee County Board member Wes Morrissey, D-Amboy, kicks off his campaign for county treasurer Monday during a dinner at The Long Branch Saloon in Amboy. Morrissey will face John Fritts, who has been treasurer for nearly 20 years, in the Nov. 4 general election.

AMBOY – Wes Morrissey stood in front of a room full of friends, family and supporters Monday night and made the first of what will be many pitches to be the next Lee County treasurer.

The 26-year-old Morrissey, D-Amboy, has been a member of the Lee County Board for a year and a half, but said he felt he could help the county as its treasurer. He kicked off his campaign Monday with a dinner at The Long Branch Saloon in Amboy.

“I’ve voted proudly for new revenue sources to the county,” he said when talking about his time on the County Board. “I got $5,000 for the Amboy Senior Citizen Center here in town.

“Most importantly, I put together an investment plan that’s netting the county 500 percent more than what my opponent’s plan is recent years has been.”

Morrissey will run against John Fritts, a Republican who has held the position for nearly 20 years and has run unopposed in elections since the 1990s.

In November, Morrissey proposed an investment plan for the county that he said would increase the county’s interest income from $3,000 a year to $37,000.

In January, Fritts approved a plan that, at the time, he said would yield 8 times more in investment income on county funds, based on Morrissey’s idea.

While Morrissey said he had a lot of respect for Fritts and his family, he said the treasurer hasn’t been acting as the county’s chief financial officer.

Morrissey said the country treasurer should be a financial adviser to help the County Board find revenue; an intelligent investor with the taxpayers’ money; a business consultant to work with the local chambers of commerce to bring in business; and be involved in the County Board and budget meetings.

“We don’t have a CFO right now at the county,” Morrissey said. “We need a CFO. So let’s have a CFO in November.”

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