January , 2019

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Lt. Governor Sheila Simon, Attorney General Lisa Madigan and Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka release statements in response to the passing of Netsch, 86.


Topinka, in saluting her longtime colleague and friend, said “Illinois loses legend in Netsch.” 

Said Topinka: “Illinois lost a true legend and trailblazer today with the passing of Dawn Clark Netsch. Dawn faithfully served Illinois and its residents for more than four decades, fighting for good, honest government that rises above politics. In fact, one of the highlights of my legislative career was partnering with her to co-sponsor the state’s Open Meetings Act. She continued her work as State Comptroller, establishing the office as an honest broker and credible source of information when it comes to state finances. And she continued her crusade into retirement, regularly speaking out on the need for government reform and accountability.

“Dawn always remembered that government exists to serve taxpayers, not the other way around. She was a leader who was ahead of her time and our state is better for her service. More than that, she was a consummate professional and a class act. It was my honor to call her a colleague and friend.”

Simon called Netsch her hero. ”Dawn Clark Netsch was a hero of mine since the early 1980s and a friend and mentor ever since,” Simon said. “We served on the board of the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform together and collaborated on reform issues for many years. She was straight forward, a straight shooter and great at explaining state issues. She was not just a public servant, but a teacher. She will be missed.”


Chicago — Attorney General Lisa Madigan today issued the following statement upon news of the passing of Dawn Clark Netsch:

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan said “Dawn Clark Netsch set the standard for integrity in public service. She led by example with relentless honesty, fierce independence and a passionate belief in civil liberty for all. Her unwavering dedication to the People of Illinois will be missed. She blazed a trail for women and worked hard to make sure so many of us could follow her.”

Netsch, 86, was a former Illinois State Comptroller, and the first woman to win the Democratic nomination for governor in Illinois, winning in the primary election over Attorney General Roland Burris and then Cook County Board President Richard Phelan. She was up against sitting Republican Governor Jim Edgar in the general election. Edgar won re-election to the post. She also served 18 years in the Illinois State Senate,

Netsch died March 5, after announcing a month ago that she was battling Lou Gehrig’s disease.

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