St. Louis Public Radio News
4:11 pm
Fri November 15, 2002

Illinois GOP Leaders Woo Topinka for Chairmanship

Springfield, IL – Illinois Republican Party leaders are wooing one of their most popular figures to take over as their boss: Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka.

Party officials say they've asked Topinka to serve as party chairman.

Topinka says she's considering the offer.

Topinka was thrust into the party's spotlight November Fifth after Republicans took a lashing at the polls.

Democrats won the governor's mansion for the first time in 26 years and took control of the state Legislature.

Topinka was the only Republican to win a statewide office, and she received more votes than Governor-elect Rod Blagojevich
and Attorney General-elect Lisa Madigan -- both Democrats.

Party leaders say Topinka has the qualifications and the popularity to help the party change its track.