Illinois’ comptroller is ready for a battle to keep her job.
Judy Baar Topinka is Illinois’ most successful Republican over the last two decades. She’ll have to get past Democrat Duffy Blackburn, the Will County auditor, to keep the job in next year’s election.
Topinka said she doesn’t know Blackburn, but she won’t take him lightly.
“Every challenger is someone to worry about. I don’t take anybody for granted. Just because I don’t know him doesn’t mean that he’s not well-known, and other people are dealing with him and he’s very good at what he does,” she said.
Topinka added that she can run on her reputation as a fiscal watchdog, and on her record of bringing efficiency to the office of comptroller.
She also defended her position against borrowing to pay the state’s bills, leaving the state’s vendors to bear the burden of late payments. She Topinka said borrowing is too costly.
She plans to persist in trying to merge the offices of comptroller and treasurer, which she says would save $12 million a year – lieutenant governor would save another $3 million, she said– opening her to the charge that she’s running for an office she wants to eliminate.