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Susana Mendoza

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Susana Mendoza
Susana Mendoza Blue Suit.jpg
10th Comptroller of Illinois
Assumed office
December 5, 2016
GovernorBruce Rauner
J. B. Pritzker
Preceded byLeslie Munger
City Clerk of Chicago
In office
May 16, 2011 – December 5, 2016
Preceded byMiguel del Valle
Succeeded byAnna Valencia
Member of the Illinois House of Representatives
from the 1st district
In office
January 10, 2001 – May 16, 2011
Preceded bySonia Silva
Succeeded byDena Carli
Personal details
Susana A. Mendoza

(1972-05-13) May 13, 1972 (age 47)
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
David Szostak (m. 2011)
EducationTruman State University (BA)
WebsiteOfficial website

Susana A. Mendoza (born May 13, 1972) is an American politician. She is the 10th Comptroller of Illinois, serving since December 2016. A member of the Democratic Party, she formerly served as Chicago City Clerk and as an Illinois State Representative, representing the 1st District of Illinois.

Mendoza was first elected as State Representative in 2001 and served into her sixth term, when she won the election for City Clerk of Chicago in February 2011, becoming the first female city clerk. She served in the position for five years until successfully running for the position of Comptroller of Illinois in 2016.

Mendoza ran unsuccessfully in the 2019 Chicago mayoral election.[1]

Early life

Mendoza was born in Chicago to Joaquin and Susana Mendoza, who had emigrated from Mexico in the 1960s.[2] The family moved from Chicago's Little Village neighborhood to Bolingbrook when she was a child due to the ongoing violence in Little Village.[3]

Mendoza graduated from Bolingbrook High School in 1990 where she earned All‐State and All‐Midwest honors in varsity soccer.[4] She then attended Truman State University in Kirksville, Missouri on a soccer and academic scholarship and graduating in 1994 with a B.A. in Business Administration.[5]

After college, Mendoza moved to Chicago and lived with her family for they had relocated back to their Little Village neighborhood. It's at this time, while working a full-time job, that she became a local community organizer for her neighborhood and got involved in Chicago politics.[citation needed]

As coordinator of campaign for Machine candidate Jesse Granato, Susana Mendoza meets with Mayor Daley and Granato at Chicago City Hall, April 1999.
As coordinator of campaign for Machine candidate Jesse Granato, Susana Mendoza meets with Mayor Daley and Granato at Chicago City Hall, April 1999.

Rise in politics

Mendoza became involved with Southwest Side Chicago politics in the mid-1990's. As a young operative, she lost a 1998 bid for the Illinois House. In 1999, she was invited to coordinate the aldermanic runoff campaign of Chicago First Ward incumbent Jesse Granato.[6] Granato had been forced into a runoff by progressive independent candidate Cynthia Soto. Central to the mayor's aggressive development plans, the First Ward election was one of five hotly contested races in independent efforts to oppose the city's patronage political system. Granato's chief support came from then-Mayor Richard M. Daley as well as the controversial Hispanic Democratic Organization and Coalition for Better Government.

State representative

In 1998, Mendoza was slated by the regular Democratic Organization but lost to independent progressive incumbent Sonia Silva (1st Legislative District).[7] In 2000, immediately after her victory for Granato and supported by Daley and his Machine allies, the Hispanic Democratic Organization, and House Speaker Michael Madigan,[8][9] Mendoza was slated and elected as an Illinois State Representative. At only 28, this made her the youngest member of the 92nd Illinois General Assembly.[1]

Mendoza was Chairman of the International Trade and Commerce Committee, Vice-Chairman of the Bio-Technology Committee and was a member of the Labor, Public Utilities and Railroad Industry committees of the House.[10] Mendoza served as Co-Chairwoman of the Conference of Women Legislators, and also co-founded the first Illinois Legislative Latino Caucus.[10]

Mendoza was a known critic of then Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich's staff in 2007.[11] In 2008, Blagojevich blamed Mendoza, along with nine other Chicago Democrats, for lawmakers rejecting his capital bill; he also accused them of holding two taxpayer-paid jobs at once, being paid by the city or state at the same time as collecting salaries as state lawmakers.[12] Mendoza took an unpaid leave from her job as a project coordinator with Chicago when she went to Springfield for legislative business.[12] In her response to Blagojevich, Mendoza stated, "It is an obvious example that the governor is a pathological liar. If he honestly believes, in his lunacy, that 10 people from the City of Chicago controlled the fate of that doomed capital bill, he needs medical attention."[12]

Mendoza served as an Illinois Democratic delegate in the primary elections for presidential candidates Al Gore in 2000 and John Kerry in 2004.[13] In 2002, she visited the African countries of Uganda and Tanzania as a delegate for the American Council of Young Political Leaders.[14] In June 2004, the State Department sent Mendoza to Brazil where she participated in a series of debates in which she represented the National Democratic Party's 2004 presidential platform.[14]

Chicago city clerk

Mendoza during her tenure as clerk
Mendoza during her tenure as clerk

Mendoza was the first woman elected City Clerk in Chicago.[15] In 2011, shortly after being elected, she took charge of an office responsible for more than $100 million in annual revenue from vehicle stickers.[16] Mendoza spearheaded the Companion Animal and Consumer Protection Ordinance which banned Chicago pet stores from selling dogs, cats, or rabbits unless the animals are sourced from humane shelters or animal rescues.[17] She changed the city's once-a-year vehicle sticker sales to year-round sales, saving about $4 million a year.[18]

Illinois Comptroller

Mendoza ran for Illinois Comptroller in the 2016 special election, defeating the Republican incumbent Leslie Munger by 5% of the votes cast.[19][20]

Mendoza was elected during a special election to fill out the remaining two years of the term won by the late Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka.[20]

Mendoza took office amid a two-year budget impasse between the Governor and the General Assembly.[21][22] In 2017, Politico named Mendoza to its national list of "18 to watch in 2018."[23]

In her first year in office, Mendoza introduced and passed[clarification needed] the Debt Transparency Act, which provides residents and legislators with a monthly accounting of the debts owed by every state agency.[24] Though then-Governor Bruce Rauner vetoed the legislation, Republican and Democratic members of the House of Representatives overrode the veto unanimously. The State Senate likewise voted to override Gov. Rauner’s veto with a 52 to 3 vote.[25]

Her second year in office, she passed[clarification needed]| three more Transparency bills: 1) The Truth-in-Hiring Act (requiring governors to list employees on their own payroll), 2) The Truth in Budgeting Act (requiring governors to address the state’s Late Payment Interest Penalties in their proposed budgets) and 3) The Vendor Payment Program Transparency Act (requiring lenders to state vendors to disclose their owners and the source of their financing).[citation needed]

In 2018, Mendoza was re-elected as comptroller, winning 59.9% of the vote in an election against Republican nominee Darlene Senger.[26]

2019 Chicago mayoral candidacy

On November 2, 2018, a video leaked from Mendoza's campaign signaling her intention to run for Mayor of Chicago in 2019 despite her concurrent run for re-election as Comptroller.[27][28] Two weeks later on November 14, Mendoza launched her mayoral campaign to replace Mayor Rahm Emanuel.[1]

On December 14, 2018, rival candidate Toni Preckwinkle challenged Mendoza's 12,500 petition signatures, which are required for Mendoza to appear on the ballot in February.[29] Preckwinkle claimed that there were "a pattern of fraud, duplicate signatures, signatures that don't match addresses and faulty page numbers".[29] On December 19, 2018, after a petition challenge was held to verify if the signatures supporting Mendoza's campaign were valid, Preckwinkle conceded the challenge as it was discovered that Mendoza had more than 13,000 valid signatures.[30]

Mendoza's campaign was endorsed by labor activist Dolores Huerta[31] and LIUNA Chicago Laborers’ District Council.[32]

Mendoza did not advance to the runoff for mayor, finishing 5th in the primary election with 9.05% of the vote. On March 23, 2019, Mendoza endorsed Lori Lightfoot for Mayor of Chicago in the runoff.[33]

Personal life

In December 2011, Mendoza married David Szostak, who attended Bolingbrook High School with her.[2] In 2012, their son was born.[2]

She serves on the board of advisors of Let America Vote, an organization founded by former Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander that aims to end voter suppression.[34]


  1. ^ a b c "Eight days after winning comptroller election, Susana Mendoza announces run for Chicago mayor". Chicago Tribune. November 14, 2018. Retrieved November 14, 2018.
  2. ^ a b c "Family". Retrieved November 19, 2018.
  3. ^ "Susana Mendoza is Running for Chicago Mayor [Video]". Retrieved November 19, 2018.
  4. ^ "Bolingbrook grad Mendoza announces Chicago mayor run". The Herald. Retrieved November 19, 2018.
  5. ^ "State Comptroller Susana Mendoza Running for Chicago Mayor". WTTW. Retrieved November 19, 2018.
  6. ^ Zelchenko, Peter (2003). It Happened Four Years Ago: Mayor Daley's Brutal Conquest of Chicago's First Ward. Chicago: VolumeOne Press. ISBN 096774895X.
  7. ^ Lutton, Linda (3 September 1998). "War on independents: Was Jesus Garcia beaten by a new machine? How many more progressives are being targeted for removal?". Chicago Reader. Retrieved 20 January 2019.
  8. ^ Hernandez Gomez, Carlos (16 March 2000). "Local Opposition: State representative Edgar Lopez has the support of everyone from Michael Madigan to George Ryan. So why is a challenge from Cynthia Soto making him sweat?". Chicago Reader. Retrieved 17 January 2019.
  9. ^ Raju, Sean. "Who is Susana Mendoza?". Chicago's New Boss. Retrieved 20 January 2019.
  10. ^ a b "Illinois General Assembly - Representative Susana Mendoza". Illinois General Assembly. Retrieved November 19, 2018.
  11. ^ Miller, Rich (2008-08-11). "Breathless". Capital Fax blog. Retrieved 2008-11-09.
  12. ^ a b c Meitrodt, Jeffrey (August 9, 2008). "Legislators say tactics wrong". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved November 9, 2008.
  13. ^ "Susana A. Mendoza, Illinois Comptroller, to be Feature Speaker at the 2018 IPPFA Illinois Pension Conference". Retrieved November 19, 2018.
  14. ^ a b "Our Campaigns - Susana Mendoza". Our Campaigns. Retrieved November 19, 2018.
  15. ^ "Mendoza to become first female city clerk". ABC. Retrieved November 19, 2018.
  16. ^ "Chicago blows through police OT budget by $23 million". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved November 19, 2018.
  17. ^ "Amendment of Municipal Code Chapter 4-384 by adding new Section 015 to regulate retail sale of dogs, cats and rabbits". Office of the City Clerk. Retrieved November 19, 2018.
  18. ^ "City Sticker Renewals to Go to Year-Round Schedule". DNA Info. Retrieved March 14, 2013.
  19. ^ Pearson, Rick (22 September 2015). "City Clerk Mendoza gets major union backing in state comptroller bid". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 3 October 2015.
  20. ^ a b Sotonoff, Jamie (8 November 2016). "Mendoza beats Munger in Illinois comptroller race bid". Daily Herald. Retrieved 8 November 2016.
  21. ^ Mackey, Brian. "Interview: I shouldn't have this much power". NPR Illinois. Retrieved June 6, 2017.
  22. ^ Ryssdal, Kai. "What happens when a state has $15 billion worth of unpaid bills?". Marketplace. Retrieved June 29, 2017.
  23. ^ Korecki, Natasha. "18 to Watch in 2018". Politico. Retrieved December 4, 2017.
  24. ^ "Comptroller Mendoza Urges Governor Rauner to Sign Debt Transparency Act". State of Illinois Comptroller. Retrieved November 19, 2018.
  25. ^ "State Senate Votes 52-3 to Override Governor's Veto of Comptroller Mendoza's Debt Transparency Act". State of Illinois Comptroller. Retrieved November 19, 2018.
  26. ^ Illinois State Board of Elections. "Election Results: General Election - 11/6/2018".
  27. ^ "Susana Mendoza video leaks out declaring 'I'm running for mayor of Chicago'". Chicago Sun-Times. November 2, 2018. Retrieved November 5, 2018.
  28. ^ "Video clip leaks of state Comptroller Susana Mendoza announcing run for Chicago mayor". Chicago Tribune. November 3, 2018. Retrieved November 5, 2018.
  29. ^ a b Schulte, Sarah (December 14, 2018). "Toni Preckwinkle challenges Susana Mendoza's petitions in Chicago mayoral race". Retrieved March 4, 2019.
  30. ^ "Preckwinkle drops challenge to Mendoza's ballot signatures". December 19, 2018. Retrieved March 4, 2019.
  31. ^ "Dolores Huerta Endorses Susana Mendoza". December 5, 2018. Retrieved March 4, 2019.
  32. ^ "LIUNA Chicago Endorses Susana Mendoza for Mayor". January 7, 2019. Retrieved March 4, 2019.
  33. ^
  34. ^ "Advisors". Let America Vote. Retrieved May 1, 2018.

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Leslie Munger
Comptroller of Illinois
This page was last edited on 18 October 2019, at 19:28
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