CHAMPAIGN – GOP gubernatorial candidate Judy Baar Topinka told county Republicans on Thursday that she can beat Rod Blagojevich.
The state treasurer didnt bother to slam her Republican primary contenders for the governors job, but minced no words about the incumbent.
Ive never seen anything quite like this administration, said Topinka, who previously served as a state representative and state senator. This man really and truly does not pay attention to the state. Folks up north think hes down here, and people down here think hes up north.
Topinka, who was at the Champaign County Republican headquarters in Champaign, said Blagojevich is vulnerable despite a potential $20 million war chest that is questionable how he got it.
She portrayed herself as a centrist. If you liked Jim Edgar, youll like me, she said. Im ordinary. Im in the middle with most of Illinois.
Topinka, 62, said that, if elected, she will take a giant Hoover to state offices, looking for waste and inefficiency. Im not promising paradise, she said. This place is so messed up its going to take a while to clean up.
She said the current governor has raided funds to get money for his pet projects.
She dismissed Blagojevichs State of the State proposal for tax credits for good students. If you didnt cut higher education, you wouldnt have to give out tax cuts, she said.
Topinka did not participate in a candidates forum held in Champaign on Sunday and withdrew from another scheduled for WILL later this month.
She said she will take part in five other debates.
Debates dont help front-runners, but Im in more than most, she said. Blagojevich isnt in any.