Judy Baar Topinka, 1944-2014

Illinois Comptoller Judy Baar Topinka has died:

Ilinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka has died, less than 24 hours after having a stroke.

A statement from her office says the 70-year-old Topinka died early Wednesday morning following complications from the stroke.

Spokesman Brad Hahn told The Associated Press that Topinka reported discomfort Tuesday morning and was admitted to a hospital in Berwyn, Illinois. After undergoing tests she appeared to be doing well overnight before suddenly losing consciousness Wednesday morning, Hahn said. She was pronounced dead shortly after 2 a.m.

Here is Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn’s statement on her death:

CHICAGO – Governor Pat Quinn today released the following statement regarding the passing of Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka:

“Today is a sad day in the state of Illinois. I am heartbroken to hear of the passing of my friend, Judy Baar Topinka.

‪ “As the first female Treasurer of Illinois and a longtime public servant, Judy was a trailblazer in every sense of the word.

‪ “Never without her signature sense of humor, Judy was a force of nature. She left her mark on the state she has called home her entire life. Her leadership improved Illinois and paved the way for countless women in politics.

“My deepest sympathies go out to Judy’s son, Joe, daughter-in-law Christina, granddaughter Alexandra, her family, friends and devoted staff.

‪ “Today the entire state mourns the loss of one of the greats. Judy Baar Topinka will be incredibly missed.”

Ms. Topinka has been a fixture on the Illinois political scene for decades. In November she was just re-elected to a second consecutive term as comptroller. She’d’ve made a much better governor than the man who defeated her when she ran, Rod Blagojevich. She was a straight-shooter and will be missed.

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