CHICAGO — Illinois Gov.-elect Bruce Rauner named Leslie Geissler Munger to be comptroller.
She will serve the term won by Judy Baar Topinka who died last month after her re-election.
"No one can ever replace Judy Baar Topinka, but Leslie is the perfect candidate to continue building on Judy's legacy," Rauner said Monday. "Leslie has always been laser-focused on fiscal and economic issues, and as comptroller, she will do everything within her power to help fix our state's broken finances."
Munger, a Republican as Topinka was, is a businesswoman who made a failed bid for seat in the state House last November.
"I'll be a guardian of their money and a watchdog for Illinois' finances. Our state is in terrible financial shape, and I'll do everything I can to help turn things around," Munger said in a statement.
When announcing Munger's appointment Monday, Rauner also urged lawmakers to support efforts to merge the offices of state comptroller and treasurer. Topinka advocated for the consolidation of the two constitutional offices into one before her death last month after suffering a stroke.
Rauner, a Republican, believes his appointment should serve out the new four-year term while Quinn and top Democrats are pushing for a special election in 2016 to allow voters a say. A special session is set for later this week during which legislation on the subject could be considered.
Munger, who takes office Jan. 12, said she would "relentlessly advocate that the General Assembly put a constitutional amendment on the 2016 ballot to merge the comptroller's office with the treasurer's office. That's what Judy wanted, and the people deserve the opportunity to vote on it. I would look forward to helping eliminate the very office to which I was appointed."
Democrat Mike Frerichs is the treasurer-elect.