State Comptroller Susana Mendoza was leading by a wide margin in her bid for another term as Illinois’ chief fiscal officer.
With 75% of the total vote counted, Mendoza had 2,038,375 votes, or 57.7% to Teresi’s 1,430,515 votes or 40.5% and McCloskey’s 65,095, or 1.8% of the vote, according to unofficial vote totals.
Mendoza, a former Chicago city clerk, previously was elected to a partial term in December 2016 before winning a full term in 2018. She previously served six terms in the Illinois House and ran unsuccessfully for Chicago Mayor.
“And so I probably signed up for the toughest job in government at that time,” she said during a podcast interview with Capitol News Illinois. “You’ll recall, we basically had, I wouldn’t say an absentee governor, but we had a governor who was actively destroying the state’s finances and decimating the state’s social safety network.”
Teresi, of Crystal Lake, is a certified public accountant and McHenry County’s auditor.
“I am running because Illinois is the most corrupt, the most fiscally mismanaged, highest taxed, highest foreclosure rate in the nation,” Teresi said in a separate interview. “And I am running because I am a (certified public accountant), I am a certified fraud examiner, I’m a certified internal auditor with a proven track record and financial leadership experience the state has never had before in its history of the comptroller’s position.”
As comptroller, Mendoza takes credit for reducing the state’s $16.7 billion backlog of unpaid bills to under $4 billion and bringing down the state’s billing cycle for vendor payments to 30 days.
“That is nothing short of remarkable,” Mendoza told CNI. “And I’m very proud that the people of Illinois trusted me not just once, but twice by electing me twice to this position.”
Teresi counters that the debt reduction, along with Illinois’ credit upgrade, is attributable to federal money state government received to help during the coronavirus pandemic.
“The state has received over 185 billion collectively to not just the state, but all the agencies within the state,” Teresi told CNI. “And this has bolstered the economy. And they are trying to take credit for it.”
“According to state records, the state itself received about $8.1 billion, which Mendoza and the Pritzker administration say was all used for one-time expenses related to the pandemic,” CNI reported.
Capitol News Illinois contributed.