The guidelines regarding how a new Illinois Comptroller will be chosen are clear, but also a bit confusing at the same time. The governor has the power to appoint someone to fill out the remaining term of Judy Baar Topinka, who passed away on Tuesday. The question is who then will serve out her new term starting January 12th.
The state constitution says the governor must appoint someone to fill the slot until an "elected officer qualifies or until a successor is elected and qualified." Some people believe that gives Governor Quinn the right to put someone in place until a new person is actually elected, but legislative leaders have a completely different take. They think Quinn's appointment can serve out the rest of Topinka's current term, which ends on January 12th, then governor-elect Bruce Rauner would appoint someone for the job. One political watcher believes the General Assembly could also approve a special election to fill the new term. Rauner has called for Topinka aide Nancy Kimme to serve until January 12th, but Quinn says any talk of replacing Topinka should wait until at least after her funeral.