Quinn Picks Budget Chief To Be Temporary Comptroller

Dec 19, 2014

Jerry Stermer (left) with Gov. Quinn
Credit Illinois Issues

Democratic Governor Pat Quinn has chosen longtime friend Jerry Stermer -- his former chief of staff and current budget director -- to take over as Illinois' Comptroller.

Quinn had to choose someone for the position, following the unexpected death last week of Republican Judy Baar Topinka.

Stermer will only hold the job for 24 days; he says he'll step down January 12th, Quinn's last day as governor. That will allow Gov.-elect Bruce Rauner to appoint someone else as comptroller, for what would have been Topinka's next term.

It resolves what could have been a lengthy, political fight; Quinn had previously left open the possibility of a trying to make a longer appointment.

"We want to avoid any kind of constitutional law case; I think that is in the best interest of the people at this time," Quinn said.

In a statement, Rauner says appointing a temporary placeholder is the appropriate decision.
There's still a looming dispute.

Quinn says the General Assembly should return to Springfield in January, to order a special election for comptroller in 2016.
Republicans say that raises a new set of legal concerns, and is an attempt by Democrats to increase their power hold on state government.