Barring a primary, the comptroller's race in Illinois in 2014 will feature Republican incumbent Judy Baar Topinka against the Will County auditor, Duffy Blackburn. Blackburn, a two-term Democrat, says as an accountant, he's already better qualified than Topinka.
“I'm running for comptroller for the future of Illinois, and we need an accounting watchdog in charge of the checkbook,” he says.
He blamed Topinka for the state's months-long turnaround on paying bills, saying that "my hands are tied" is not a good enough excuse.
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When it was suggested that, on some level, the comptroller's and treasurer's hands are tied, he responded, “When I just started talking with people, they all agree we've got to get the comptroller's office working for Illinois. They don't just deal with numbers on the ledger. What this office does affect is people. It takes the office an average of 210 days to pay a bill. That means small businesses have to take on more debt. It's not right, and it's indicative of what's wrong with the office. I want to pay our bills on time. I want to streamline the process and make it more efficient. That's what I did in Will County, and that's what I will do in Illinois.”
Blackburn says his job performance earned him an award as County Auditor of the Year in 2011. His campaign boasts the assistance of U.S. Rep. Bill Foster (D-Naperville) and Will County executive Larry Walsh Sr.
Blackburn says it's time for him to step up and serve statewide, and he's got new tires on his car for a statewide campaign.