Judy Baar Topinka, Illinois comptroller, has died at the age of 70.
According to the Chicago Tribune, Topinka’s chief of staff, Nancy Kimme confirmed that Topinka passed away shortly after 1am Wednesday, December 10 from complications resulting from a stroke.
Ms. Topinka was reportedly taken to MacNeal Hospital in Berwyn, Illinois Tuesday morning after feeling some physical discomfort. She was undergoing testing and observation overnight and doctors believed she was doing well until the comptroller lost consciousness early Wednesday morning.
As news breaks of her passing, both politicians and citizens alike are reacting to her death and taking a look back on Ms. Topinka’s political career. According to CBS Chicago, Topinka served three terms as Illinois state treasurer and was the first woman to hold that post. She then ran for governor in 2006 and became the first woman to win the Republican nomination for governor.
Judy Baar Topinka was known for being a passionate go-getter and was a longtime advocate for abortion rights and same-sex marriage. Just this last month, Ms. Topinka won a tough race against Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon in the race for Illinois state comptroller.
“I am deeply saddened to hear of Judy Baar Topinka’s passing. People throughout Illinois will remember her for her many years of dedication to public service just as much as they will remember her for her larger than life personality. She truly loved the people of this state,” Simon said. “My thoughts and prayers go out to her family, friends and staff as we mourn the loss of a legend in Illinois government.”
According to NBC Chicago, many are sending out their thoughts and prayers, including Governor-Elect Bruce Rauner and Secretary of State Jesse White.
Gov-Elect Bruce Rauner: “Early this morning, Illinois lost one of its all-time greats. Comptroller Topinka’s magnetic, one-of-a-kind personality brought a smile to everyone she met, and she had a servant’s heart, always only caring about what was best for the people of our state. Judy was a tremendous friend, and Diana and I will miss her deeply. We offer our heartfelt condolences and prayers to her family, including son Joseph, as well as her talented and loyal team in the Comptroller’s office.”
Secretary of State Jesse White: “I’m shocked and deeply saddened to learn of the passing this morning of my friend Judy Baar Topinka. Judy committed her professional life to public service. She served the citizens of Illinois honorably and with distinction for decades beginning in the Illinois General Assembly, as the Illinois Treasurer and most recently in her capacity as State Comptroller. She was a great leader and a straight shooter who served Illinois with dignity. This is a sad day for Illinois and for me personally. She will be dearly missed.”
Twitter has also exploded with comments regarding the passing of Ms. Judy Baar Topinka.
Judy Baar Topinka was a trailblazer in every sense of the word. Her leadership improved Illinois & paved the way for women in politics.
— Governor Pat Quinn (@GovernorQuinn) December 10, 2014
Mother, common sense politician, watchdog who fought corruption, danced a mean polka #RIP Judy Baar Topinka we’ll miss you
— Anna Davlantes (@AnnaDavlantes) December 10, 2014
#BREAKING: Judy Baar Topinka, IL State Comptroller, died this morning around 2am. Thoughts and Prayers go out to her family & friends.
— Sondra Solarte FOX32 (@sondrasolarte) December 10, 2014
Sad to hear Judy Baar Topinka passed away this AM after suffering a stroke. She was a role model for any female w/ a passion for politics.
— Laura Hettiger KMOV (@LauraKHettiger) December 10, 2014
Stay with the Inquisitr as more information becomes available regarding the death of Illinois Comptroller, Judy Baar Topinka.
[Image via Chicago Tribune Twitter Feed]