Senger concedes to Mendoza in Illinois comptroller race

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Incumbent Democrat Susana Mendoza cruised to victory on Tuesday over Republican former state Rep. Darlene Senger to hold her post as Illinois comptroller.

Senger conceded to Mendoza barely an hour after the polls closed. With 22 percent of precincts reporting, Mendoza led with 69.2 percent of the vote to Senger’s 27.9 percent. Addison accountant Claire Ball, the Libertarian candidate, stood at 2.9 percent of the vote.

Mendoza said she has “stood up to the biggest bully in the state” in Rauner, as she declared victory to supporters at the Marriott Marquis Chicago.

But after a smooth re-election as the state’s chief financial officer, one question lingers for Mendoza: How long will she keep the job?

Her name has been floated as a strong possible Chicago mayoral contender since Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced he wouldn’t seek re-election, and though Mendoza has insisted she hasn’t made a decision, any doubt she would jump into that race all but evaporated just four days before her statewide election when a leaked campaign ad featured Mendoza declaring “I’m running for mayor of Chicago.”

Senger, who labeled the video clip a “prime example of her arrogance and hypocrisy,” had called on Mendoza to drop out of the comptroller race. On the campaign trail, Senger accused the incumbent of overly politicizing the office in charge of paying the state’s bills.

Mendoza has until Nov. 26 to collect 12,500 signatures to get on the ballot for the February 2019 mayoral election, though supporters seeking to “draft” her to run for that office have been circulating petitions for weeks.

If she runs for mayor as political insiders expect — and wins — Democratic Gov.-elect J.B. Pritzker would select an acting replacement.

Democrats also held onto the state treasurer’s office, with GOP challenger Jim Dodge conceding to incumbent Michael Frerichs, who led with about 66 percent of the vote to Dodge’s 30 percent with 25 percent of precincts reporting. Libertarian Michael Leheney earned 3.3 percent.

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November 6, 2018 at 08:32PM

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