Who will appoint Judy Baar Topinka’s replacement?
That’s the question Wednesday morning as Gov. Pat Quinn winds up his term. Political sources tell NBC Chicago that Attorney General Lisa Madigan has been asked for her legal opinion.
The question of course – because Topinka had not yet been sworn in to her next term – would Quinn make the appointment or his successor, Gov.-Elect Bruce Rauner?
Here is the Illinois Constitution:
SECTION 7. VACANCIES IN OTHER ELECTIVE OFFICES
If the Attorney General, Secretary of State, Comptroller or Treasurer fails to qualify or if his office becomes vacant, the Governor shall fill the office by appointment. The appointee shall hold office until the elected officer qualifies or until a successor is elected and qualified as may be provided by law and shall not be subject to removal by the Governor. If the Lieutenant Governor fails to qualify or if his office becomes vacant, it shall remain vacant until the end of the term.
There’s speculation that Democrat Sheila Simon, who ran against Topinka, would be a natural opponent. But at the same time, perhaps in a move of bi-partisanship, there are questions about whether Quinn could appoint State Rep. Tom Cross, who ran and lost a very tight race for state Treasurer.