Republican Teresi launches bid to oust Comptroller Mendoza – with Madigan focus

McHenry County Auditor Shannon Teresi on Wednesday became the latest Republican to throw his hat in the ring for nationwide office, announcing his campaign against Democratic State Comptroller Susana Mendoza.

But like other Illinois Republicans, Teresi is just as eager to talk about former State Speaker Mike Madigan.

The first issue on her campaign website?

A promise to “end the Madigan machine’s personal piggy bank.”

On the website highlighting Teresis’ qualifications and achievements, Madigan is mentioned three times. Mendoza is not mentioned a single time.

In the publication announcing his candidacy, Teresi, who has served as McHenry County auditor since 2018, highlighted his experience as a state-authorized public accountant and certified fraud investigator and promised to bring transparency to the state government.

“That’s what I promise to bring to the Office of the Inspectorate: open communication with taxpayers and an eagle’s eye to eradicate the waste, fraud and abuse our state is plagued by thanks to decades of Madigan Machine policies,” Teresi said in a statement. was shared to her Twitter account and campaign website.

Republican Shannon Teresi

Republican Shannon Teresi.

It’s almost a year since Madigan left the political scene in Illinois, but the once powerful Southwest Side Democrat remains a major campaign theme for Republicans.

State Representative Tom Demmer, R-Dixon, who launched his campaign as treasurer on Tuesday, included pictures of the former House Spokesman and former chairman of the Democratic Party in his campaign video.

Madigan resigned as house speaker, state representative and chairman of the State Democratic Party after being implicated in a bribery scheme in which ComEd is accused of sending $ 1.3 million to Madigan employees for having done little or no work.

Madigan has not been charged with any crime and denies any wrongdoing, but the scandal ended a political career that stretches back half a century – and inflated the Democrat’s role as a GOP punching bag.

Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan speaks to the City Club of Chicago in 2015.

Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan speaks to the City Club of Chicago in 2015.
Rich Hein / Sun-Times fil

But if Republicans are eager to overshadow Madigan’s ghost every chance they get, Democrats are just as happy to tie their GOP rivals to former one-time Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and hedge fund billionaire Ken Griffin.

Griffin has vowed to thwart Governor JB Pritzker’s re-election plans, and it is widely believed that he is building a number of Republican candidates to challenge Democrats up and down the ticket. But Griffin has remained a mother about who the election is – leaving Democrats free to tag anyone they choose.

And the state Democratic Party was quick to do just that with Demmer and Teresi – and cast them as peasants or puppets of the state’s richest person.

“Now Ken Griffin is running the Rauner reboot, revealing his puppets in a desperate attempt to pull Illinois back to the Rauner days of budget rallies and months of backlog,” said Abby Witt, executive director of the Democratic Party of Illinois. , said in a statement after Teresi launched its campaign.

Former Gov. Bruce Rauner, left;  Governor JB Pritzker, center;  Hedge fund founder Ken Griffin, right.

Former Gov. Bruce Rauner, left; Governor JB Pritzker, center; Hedge fund founder Ken Griffin, right.
Sun-Times file images.

Griffin donated just over $ 36 million to Rauner’s campaigns only to see the Republican ousted by Pritzker in 2018.

Pritzker, worth $ 3.6 billion, according to Forbes, he pumped a record $ 171 million of his personal fortune into that race.

And last November, Griffin said he was “all in to support the candidate who wants to beat” Pritzker. The hedge fund billionaire’s return has the potential to make this year’s competitions another round of record highs.

The founder and CEO of the Chicago-based Citadel is worth an estimated $ 26.7 billion, according to Forbes, which ranked him as the richest resident of Illinois as latest as last year.

State Comptroller Susana Mendoza, right, with Ken Raskin, left, owner of Manny's Deli on Election Day, March 20, 2018.

State Comptroller Susana Mendoza, right, with Ken Raskin, left, owner of Manny’s Deli on Election Day, March 20, 2018.
James Foster / Sun-Times fil

Mendoza was first elected in 2016, beating then-GOP member Leslie Munger, whom Rauner appointed to office in early 2015, following the death of Judy Baar Topinka.

Mendoza issued a statement saying, “I welcome all candidates and look forward to talking about my long and historic record of achievements.”

“As Illinois’ fiscal watchdog, I’ve implemented historic transparency reforms, led our state to its first credit upgrades in decades, delivered the fastest vendor payment cycle in over 20 years and paid off our backlog by over 75% without using federal stimulus – amid a global pandemic, said the Chicago Democrat.

Teresi did not respond to requests for comment.

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