Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka kicked off her re-election campaign, Sunday, at the Billy Goat Tavern at 1535 W. Madison St. in Chicago, before heading off to rallies in Rockford and the Quad Cities later that day.
The event was the Riverside Republican’s first in a series of nine rallies on what Topinka dubbed her “Common Sense Express” tour, which crisscrossed the state between Sunday and Tuesday, announcing her intention to run again as the state comptroller, a position she’s held since 2010.
“Four years ago, you joined with me on a quest to use the comptroller’s office to fight for efficiency, transparency and accountability. We have taken that change to heart and we are making a difference,” Topinka said in a press release announcing her bid for re-election.
She also highlighted the creation of the online Ledger, giving the public access to state finance reports, the salaries of public officials, information on state contracts and municipal audit reports.
Earlier this summer, Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon, announced she would be seeking the democratic nomination for comptroller in a bid to take back the only Republican held state-wide office in Illinois. Simon is the daughter of the late U.S. Sen. Paul Simon.
Topinka’s political career began in 1980 when she was elected state representative. In 1984, she was elected to the state senate and served as a senator for 10 years. In 1994, she was elected Illinois treasurer and served in that position for three terms before taking a run at the governor’s office in 2006.
She lost that race to Rod Blagojevich, a Chicago Democrat later convicted of corruption charges.
Four years later, she set her sights on the comptroller’s office and corralled 53 percent of the vote to defeat Democrat David Miller and two other candidates. She also told the Landmark she expects to run for re-election as Riverside Township Republican committeeman, a position she’s held for 19 years.