* From a press release…
Governor-elect Bruce Rauner announced today that he will appoint Leslie Geissler Munger of Lincolnshire to fill the vacancy in the Comptroller’s office that will occur on Monday, January 12. Both also strongly endorsed “Judy’s Amendment,” which would merge the Comptroller’s and Treasurer’s offices, an idea long advocated for by Judy Baar Topinka.
“I am deeply honored to become Illinois’ next Comptroller and humbly look forward to serving all the people of Illinois,” Munger said. “I’ll be a guardian of their money and a watchdog for Illinois’ finances. Our state is in terrible financial shape, and I’ll do everything I can to help turn things around.”
“I’m not interested in a political career; only on doing what is best for the state we all love and want to make great again,” Munger added. “With that in mind, I will relentlessly advocate that the General Assembly put a Constitutional amendment on the 2016 ballot to merge the Comptroller’s office with the Treasurer’s office. That’s what Judy wanted, and the people deserve the opportunity to vote on it. I would look forward to helping eliminate the very office to which I was appointed.”
A career businesswoman with an undergraduate degree from the University of Illinois and an M.B.A. from Northwestern, Munger made her first run for state office last year, falling short of defeating an incumbent state representative by just 1349 votes in the Democrat-leaning 59th district. A full bio is below.
“No one can ever replace Judy Baar Topinkia, but Leslie is the perfect candidate to continue building on Judy’s legacy,” Gov.-elect Rauner said. “Leslie has always been laser focused on fiscal and economic issues, and as Comptroller, she will do everything within her power to help fix our state’s broken finances.”
“A first step towards delivering greater efficiency and reform for Illinois taxpayers is to merge the offices of Comptroller and Treasurer,” Rauner continued. “That is something that Leslie and I both support and believe should be the legislature’s focus in the days and weeks ahead. Rather than a special election for a short-term appointment, next year’s ballot should include a Constitutional amendment to merge the offices. That would be a long-term answer that will result in greater value for taxpayers. It would pass, and when it does, Leslie would be able to immediately begin work on winding down and merging the offices. That’s the right path to take and in the best interest of Illinoisans.”
Munger lost to Rep. Carol Sente, who blasted Munger for being a tea partier. Munger, however, denied the claims.
Nancy Kimme will reportedly stay on as chief of staff.
*** UPDATE *** Not surprisingly, House Republican Leader Jim Durkin approves…
“Leslie Munger is a smart choice for Illinois Comptroller. I witnessed first-hand her work ethic and became friends with her immediately. Leslie is honest, driven and dedicated to improving Illinois. She brings to the office 25 years of business experience in the private sector that will serve the taxpayers well. While no one can take the place of Judy Baar Topinka, I know Leslie Munger will do a great job as Comptroller and leading the charge to merge the two offices of Comptroller and Treasurer. Judy Baar Topinka would be proud of this appointment.”
* Also, from the Tribune…
Aides for Rauner said Munger was traveling out of state and could not be reached for comment Monday but said she will join Rauner on a statewide tour Saturday.