Judy Baar Topinka, Illinois Comptroller and a major figure in Illinois politics, died early Wednesday. Her office reports that she passed away less than 24 hours after having a stroke. She was 70.

According to NBC News, spokesman Brad Hahn said

Topinka reported discomfort and was admitted to a hospital in Berwyn, Illinois. After undergoing tests she appeared to be doing well overnight before suddenly losing consciousness Wednesday morning. She was pronounced dead shortly after 2 a.m.

In the recent November election, Judy Baar Toponka, a Republican, won another term as Illinois State Comptroller after a tough race with Democratic challenger Sheila Simon, Illinois' former lieutenant governor.

Topinka also served as Illinois GOP chairwoman and ran for governor in 2006 against Rod Blagojevich .

NBC News recalled that Topinka likened her job to being a "skunk at a picnic" — a reference to the task of writing checks to a state with a backlog of unpaid bills.