Biss Bows Out Of Comptroller's Race

Nov 22, 2015

Sen. Daniel Biss, D-Evanston, will keep that office; he's stopping his campaign for comptroller
Credit ILGA.gov

The race for Illinois comptroller has narrowed: There will no longer be a Democratic primary. State Sen.Daniel Biss, D-Evanston, has confirmed he will not run.

You could say the Democratic primary race for comptroller is over before it ever began; only today can candidates begin filing paperwork to run.

They have until the end of the month. But Biss says he won't turn in his petitions at all. "The stars haven't aligned, and the state of Illinois and the Democratic Party are in difficult times. And I think the last thing we need was a drawn-out, expensive, divisive primary, he said Sunday. "I thought very hard about what my chances were, and came to the conclusion the best thing I could do to advance the cause that I believe in would be to step back at this time."

Biss says now he'll redouble his efforts to get Illinois out of its fiscal situation. He says having no budget is "immoral and wrong."

Biss, who is a mathematician, says he's pledging his support to the remaining Democrat in the race, Chicago City Clerk Susana Mendoza, a former state representative.

Though various party leaders backed Biss, Mendoza is the favored candidate of Democratic Party of Illinois Chairman Michael Madigan.

Republicans' nominee is sure to be Leslie Munger, who has held the office since January when the governor appointed her comptroller.

The comptroller is charged with writing checks for the state. The issue of what checks can be paid, and in what order they go out, has become more controversial as Illinois slides into a sixth month without a budget. Illinois wasn't scheduled to hold an election for comptroller until 2018, but voters' choice in the last election -- Judy Baar Topinka -- died before she was sworn in for a new term, leading to a law establishing a special election.

Biss leaves the race with about $1.6 million dollars in his campaign account.

Politico had reported Friday of Biss's change of heart, citing Democratic insiders.