Topinka, characteristic coffee cup in hand, addressed her supporters with a hoarse voice as she congratulated incumbent Gov. Rod Blagojevich for his win. “That’s the way it goes. God bless him.”
Flanked by her son Joe, she said she ran her campaign the right way. “How many people can say they’ve been in politics for 26 years and have nothing but wonderful things to show for it? I mean, it’s just great.”
In true Judy Baar Topinka style, she continued to joke about everything from her coffee cup to her two dogs. But then she got a little sentimental. “You know I’ve loved every minute of it, even the tough times. I’ve really tried to serve honorably. I think there’s something to be said for honor, and integrity and sticking up for what you believe in. And whatever you can say about campaigns, we did it the right way. And it was honorable.”
She left the stage and the room, and security guards escorted her out of sight. Comments from Gov. Jim Edgar to come.