By J’nelle Agee
The Illinois state comptroller’s office will remain in the control of Republicans. Judy Baar Topinka kept the position of state comptroller with late results at 49.9 percent for her and 43.3 percent for Democrat Lt. Gov. Shelia Simon .
“Having both of us just being out there subject to public scrutiny, anybody who goes out in the area deserves a lot of credit. Sheila did a great job and we need to give credit to her, to all of the staff and everybody who worked hard on this campaign,” Topinka said in her victory speech.
Topinka first won the office of comptroller in 2010 with 52.6 percent of the vote when she defeated democratic state Rep. David Miller who finished with 40.9 percent.
She has been a part of Illinois politics for the past 34 years and is the first woman to serve in two state constitutional offices. Topinka was Illinois state treasurer from 1994-1997.
The state comptroller position was created in 1970. During her first term as comptroller, Topinka pushed initiatives for the offices of the state treasurer and comptroller to work in tandem which ended up saving the state $12 million annually. Topinka also:
- Launched Illinois Gives, a program where state workers and retirees can donate funds directly to the American Red Cross to assist victims of natural disasters
- Created The Warehouse, an online database that allows local government financial information to be easily accessible for taxpayers
- Increased efforts to recover $85 million of debt owed to taxpayers
- Built partnerships with small business owners and non-profit organization to prevent closings due to late payment.