-By Warner Todd Huston
The 52nd District State Senate race in the Champaign area has an interesting feature. One of the Republicans competing in the GOP primary to run against the incumbent Democrat is a big donor to the very man he’s trying to replace.
Incumbent Democrat Michael Frerichs is a little surprised by who has jumped into the GOP primary to run against him. After all, that candidate, Alan Nudo (pictured left), donated $5,000 to Frerichs, so it is a bit confusing that Nudo is running against the very man who he has in the past so strongly supported.
According to state records, one of Nudo’s companies, Triple R Development of Champaign, donated two separate amounts to Democrat Frerich’s campaign. One check for two thousand dollars and one for three thousand have become public knowledge.
In fact, in an email from Senator Frerichs, I discovered that the first check was hand delivered to the Senator by none other than Alan Nudo himself.
“In light of [Alan Nudo's] support over the years and the number of times that he has reached across the aisle to work with me, I was personally very surprised last summer to discover that he wanted to run against me,” Senator Frerichs said.
Nudo, a 63-year-old Champaign County Board member and Champaign resident, also donated some of this money to Frerichs when he was running against Republican Judith Meyers in 2008. Meyers only lost that race by 542 votes.
As mentioned, Nudo is running in the GOP primary against Champaign resident John Bambenek, both of whom hope to replace Senator Frerichs in November.
Bambenek hopes that Al Nudo will “come clean” about his support for Democrats and wonders why that support makes him a good Republican candidate. He also feels that Nudo owes it to the voters to talk about this.
“When news of this donation first broke Alan Nudo disavowed it. Now we see that he actually signed the checks.” Bambenek said. “The voters deserve to have the facts and it’s time for Alan to come clean about his support for Mike Frerichs.”