Since 2011, Sheila Simon has held the second highest seat in Illinois, as Lieutenant Governor.
Simon got her start in politics, serving on city council in her hometown of Carbondale. Prior to that, she prosecuted domestic violence cases for the Jackson County State Attorney’s office.
Simon was catapulted to lieutenant governor after being plucked by then Lt. Governor Quinn for the Illinois Reform Commission which was put together, following Rod Blagojevich’s arrest on corruption charges.
The wife and mother of two focuses on higher education and state military resources during her time in office.
“A much as I’ve been able to do as Lt. Governor, I see that so many of our state problems boil down to money issues,” she said.
But about a year ago, the democrat and former prosecutor, decided not to run for a second term, under Gov Quinn.
Instead, Simon decided to enter the race for state comptroller, going-up against incumbent Republican Judy Baar-Ropinka.
“The comptroller’s position is the one that pays the bills for the state of Illinois,” Simon says. “The comptroller has her hands on the money that’s leaving and has the best ability I think of anyone to let people know where we’re spending.”
It is a crucial job when you consider the state’s deficit tops nearly $45 billion.
The former SIU law professor tells me if she becomes Illinois’ next comptroller, she wants to make sure taxpayers are crystal- clear on how their money is being spent.
“I think I can do a better job in terms of accountability and in terms of ethics,” she says.“I see a real momentum building. And we can talk again on election night. Let’s see how it goes.”