Despite high poll numbers, Topinka expected to bow out of Governor's race
State Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka set an end-of-week deadline to reveal her decision on running for governor -- but as of today, the answer is no.
Topinka, 61, the only Republican statewide officeholder, instead is looking at a bid for a fourth term as treasurer, where she can still be a major player in state policy.
Polls show Topinka leads a crowded Republican gubernational primary field. And she is well-positioned to win the Illinois GOP nomination for governor.
But a primary could leave her broke. Topinka would start a general election campaign against Gov. Blagojevich staring at his war chest, expected to swell to $20 million by next year. Blagojevich will be able to save money because he faces no substantial primary challenger.
Topinka's was on top of a poll of Republicans for their pick to run for governor.
(Angus Reid Global Scan) – Judy Baar Topinka is the leading contender in the race for the Republican Party’s gubernatorial nomination in Illinois, according to a poll by Market Shares Corp. released by the Chicago Tribune and WGN-TV. 44 per cent of Republican voters in the Prairie State would back the state treasurer in the party’s primary.I've long felt that Topinka wouldn't go for Governor. She has a lot of baggage and subtle signs led me to believe she's not inclined to put herself through it.
Investment manager James Oberweis is second with 15 per cent, followed by state senators Bill Brady and Steve Rauschenberger with seven per cent each, and businessman Ronald Gidwitz with four per cent. The Republican gubernatorial primary is scheduled for Mar. 21, 2006. The general election will take place in November 2006.
Rod Blagojevich—a Democrat—has acted as governor in Illinois since January 2003. The former U.S. congressman defeated Republican Jim Ryan in the November 2002 election with 52 per cent of the vote.
Since 1949, Illinois has had five Republican and five Democratic heads of government.
Who would you vote for in the Republican gubernatorial primary?
Judy Baar Topinka
Source: Market Shares Corp. / The Chicago Tribune / WGN-TVMethodology: Interviews to 450 likely Republican primary voters, conducted from Oct. 5 to Oct. 9, 2005. Margin of error is 5 per cent.
If Topinka bows out, how then would the remaining Republican candidates match up against Blagojevich, who is enduring some truly awful poll numbers these days?