Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka died Dec. 10 at the age of 70 after suffering a stroke the day before. She had just been elected to her second term as comptroller in November and was the only woman in Illinois to ever hold two constitutional state offices, as comptroller and treasurer.
Reboot Illinois' Madeleine Doubek remembered Topinka:
We lost one of the one-of-a-kind ones in Illinois politics today.
Republican Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka died of a stroke early Wednesday morning and we are left with a gaping void.
Judy Baar Topinka won election after election after election because she was real. She was genuine. When politicians were maddening because they could not possibly see plainly the noses on the end of their faces, Topinka would gladly poke her finger and point their schnoozes out to them.
She frequently said what most voters were thinking. And she said it colorfully, in ways all of us could understand. Months ago, when most politicians in the state were trying to avoid saying anything controversial, she told reporters in western Illinois that cutting the state income tax to 3.75 percent from 5 percent would be the equivalent of causing the state to have a coronary.
In that case, not what voters or her fellow politicians might have wanted to hear, but clearly there was some truth there.
Read the rest of Doubek's recollections of Topinka at Reboot Illinois.
Click through this timeline of Topinka's life to see many of her political accomplishments:
Read Topinka's own thoughts on rebooting Illinois from 2012 at Reboot Illinois.