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Illinois Comptroller's Race: Dems 1, Rauner 0

Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza
Brian Mackey
NPR Illinois
Susana Mendoza, the Democratic Chicago city clerk, has been elected Illinois comptroller.

Illinois Democrats have won the state office of comptroller away from Republicans.

Susana Mendoza, a Democrat from Chicago, won a special election for a two-year term.

Mendoza defeated incumbent Leslie Munger, who was appointed after Judy Baar Topinka died in office.

The campaign became a proxy battle in the war between Democrats and Republican Governor Bruce Rauner, who personally spent millions on the race.

Mendoza says her victory is a repudiation of Rauner’s so-called Turnaround Agenda.

“I think what we saw tonight was a rejection of the extreme agenda which is making so many people in the state of Illinois victims,” Mendoza told her supporters.

Rauner has refused to negotiate a balanced budget until Democrats first pass pro-business, anti-union legislation.

Illinois owes much more money than it’s collecting in taxes. As comptroller, Mendoza can prioritize which bills get paid first — and which have to wait.

Brian Mackey formerly reported on state government and politics for NPR Illinois and a dozen other public radio stations across the state. Before that, he was A&E editor at The State Journal-Register and Statehouse bureau chief for the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin.
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