State Rep. Elaine Nekritz, a Northbrook Democrat, is interested in becoming Illinois' top auditor.
The statewide gig comes with a 10-year term and the responsibility to regularly investigate Illinois agencies and occasionally take on special auditing tasks such as the call for a probe into operations at the College of DuPage.
Nekritz, who first joined the Illinois House in 2003, is among about half a dozen finalists to replace sitting Auditor General Bill Holland. The names of the applicants are supposed to be confidential, but her interest in the post was first reported by the Bloomington Pantagraph.
"My years in the General Assembly have given me a very deep and keen understanding of state government," Nekritz said.
Holland is a former legislative staff member who has held the job since 1992 and largely has won the respect of both Republicans and Democrats, possibly making him a challenging person to replace at a time when the two parties are in a long, heated battle over state spending. He plans to retire at the end of the year and earns $154,128 per year.
The next auditor general will be picked by lawmakers, and Nekritz doesn't have to give up her seat in the House to audition for the job. Among the other candidates is state Rep. Frank Mautino, a Democrat from downstate Spring Valley.
Both Mautino and Nekritz are part of House Speaker Michael Madigan's leadership team, but Madigan is backing Mautino.
"If it ends up being Leader Mautino, I'll be thrilled for him," Nekritz said.
Nekritz helped lead the writing of the 2013 law to cut teachers' and state employees' retirement benefits in order to cut into the state's massive pension debt, but the law was struck down by the Illinois Supreme Court. She remains chair of a House committee on pensions, which has been taking testimony on Gov. Bruce Rauner's latest retirement proposal.