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The normally lackluster race for Illinois state treasurer is becoming increasingly contentious.

Republican candidate Tom Cross is scheduled to appear at a series of stops around central Illinois Tuesday. He'll talk about what he says were financial mismanagement and patronage by his opponent, state Sen. Michael Frerichs, in the Democrat's previous role as Champaign County auditor.

Cross says an early retirement program proposed by Frerichs cost taxpayers millions. He also says Frerichs improperly pushed the county to hire two local Democrats.

Frerichs says his decisions didn't lead the program to lose money. And he says he never employed the Democrats in his post.

Recently, the Cross campaign also circulated allegations that Frerichs didn't pay $1,800 in back taxes and interest. Frerichs disputed the county's determination that he owed the money.

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