SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — An influential business advocacy organization is endorsing Republican state Rep. Tom Cross over Democratic state Sen. Mike Frerichs in the race for Illinois treasurer.

Illinois Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Todd Maisch tells The Associated Press the organization has only endorsed congressional candidates in recent years but feels the need to "engage across a broader spectrum of government."

Maisch says the group chose the treasurer's race because of the expanding role of the office in Illinois' business community.

Maisch says there's a "huge difference" on fiscal issues between Cross and Frerichs. Cross opposed the state's 2011 income tax increase and a proposal to shift to a graduated income tax. Frerichs supported both plans.

The Cross campaign is expected to formally announce the chamber's endorsement Thursday in Springfield.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

More From WROK 1440 AM / 96.1 FM