The Republican who could have spent her retirement years saying I told you so after losing to Rod Blagojevich for governor in 2006 is stepping back into the political fray.
“I can’t stand to watch this mismanagement go on,” Topinka told the crowd Sunday. "It’s time to put an end to the bookkeeping games and the gimmicks that are destroying the state. It’s time to put an end to the deception and the corruption in this state that caused it.”
The 65-year-old, straight-talking, accordion-playing red head from Riverside is no stranger to voters after serving three terms before falling victim to Blagojevich's well-financed campaign that landed him in charge of Illinois.
"They trust me and I feel good about that because I’ve earned it,” she said. “Jeepers, wouldn’t you want a fiscal officer like that who’s got that kind of experience…at a time when the state is so fiscally inside out?”
Topinka lost to Blagojevich by 10 points in the 2006 gubernatorial race. Since then, he's been indicted on corruption charges, removed from office and several of his top aides will testify against him in his upcoming federal trial.
"Everything that I have said during the gubernatorial election has come to pass,” she said. “I think people do realize that the state has taken a terrible turn for the worse and they are going to turn to somebody who knows what they’re doing.”
The comptroller position is open after Dan Hynes announced he's running for governor in the February Democratic primary against Gov. Pat Quinn.
Topinka already has two opponents, former deputy state treasurer Raja Krishnamoorthi on the Democratic side and cable sports personality William J. Kelly on the Republican side.