A sampling of statements from dignitaries in remembrance of State Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka (1944-2014).
I am heartbroken to hear of the passing of my friend. Never without her signature sense of humor, Judy was a force of nature. She left her mark on the state she has called home her entire life. Her leadership improved Illinois and paved the way for countless women in politics…Today the entire state mourns the loss of one of the greats.
Gov. Pat Quinn
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…Judy was a tremendous friend, and Diana and I will miss her deeply.
Governor-elect Bruce Rauner
I was saddened to hear this morning of the passing of Judy Baar Topinka. Judy was truly one of a kind. I admired her feisty, outspoken nature and her passion for good government. She had a track record of standing up for what she believed in, regardless of party lines. As the first woman to be elected treasurer in Illinois, she was also a pioneer and an inspiration for other women in public service. My heart goes out to her family and friends throughout the state.
Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle
My friend and mentor’s sudden passing is a shock and very saddening. Her death is a loss to all who knew her and to our great state. My prayers are with her family today.
U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk
Judy Barr Topinka was one of a kind. She was a powerhouse in the western suburbs. Even in liberal bastions like Oak Park, she ran head and shoulders ahead of other Republican candidates. People knew Judy was Judy…Judy appreciated the tremendous honor of public service, as well as the brutal nature of campaigns. Through it all, no one was quicker with an ‘Atta boy’ or a ‘Keep your chin up!’ She loved her job and she loved all of us who served with her, in one way or another. We will miss her greatly. Judy Barr Topinka will never be replaced.
State Sen. Don Harmon
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.
Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon
We were saddened to learn of the passing of Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka. This trailblazing public servant was truly a woman for all seasons. As a legislator, state treasurer and as comptroller, Topinka was an elected official who genuinely cared about the constituents she served. Topinka was and will remain an inspiration to all women who aspire to lead; and will be remembered for her humor, wit, and her support of equality and fairness for all communities…She will truly be missed.
Andrea L. Zopp
President and CEO, Chicago Urban League
Today is a sad day for Illinois and all those who had the privilege to know Judy…Judy was a fierce and dedicated public servant who always put the interests of Illinois and Illinoisans before her own. This loss is personal for me and my family as well. We were proud to call Judy a friend and, in my wife Carolyn’s case, boss. My thoughts and prayers are with Judy’s son, Joe, daughter-in-law Christina, granddaughter Alexandra and all of her family, friends and devoted staff.
U.S. Rep. Bobby L. Rush
The passing of Judy Baar Topinka leaves an unfillable void. She exemplified all that is good in public service. Her humor, decency, and fierce devotion to making things better for the average person will be greatly missed. She was our neighbor and friend, and she will be long remembered.
Riverside Village President Ben Sells
My condolences go out to Judy Baar Topinka’s family and loved one during this difficult time. Judy was a strong and respected leader in Illinois. She had many friends and supporters from the African-American community. She will be missed, though her legacy of passionate independence and fierce loyalty lives on.
State Sen. Mattie Hunter
Comptroller Topinka never minced her words. She cared about immigrant families and valued immigrants’ enormous contribution as workers, consumers and residents to our state and country…She championed difficult legislation and rallied her party behind her, winning policy changes like the immigrant driver’s license that keeps our roads safe and families together. IBIC extends our deepest condolences to Comptroller Topinka’s family.
Co-chair and CEO of The Illinois Business Immigration Coalition
I am deeply saddened by the sudden loss of Judy Baar Topinka. She was a great public servant with unlimited fight in her, not only for issues but for people she believed in. Judy knew how to get things done and was willing to do what it takes to get them done. My thoughts and prayers go out to her family and friends, of whom she had many.
U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski