Susana A. Mendoza became the first Hispanic to ever run for and win a statewide office in Illinois as a Democrat when she was elected Illinois Comptroller in November 2016.
Prior to her statewide election, she made history by becoming the first woman ever elected as Chicago City Clerk. Under Mendoza’s leadership, more than 1.3 million Chicago City Vehicle Sticker customers were shifted from an inefficient and archaic seasonal sales program to Year-Round Sales. The new system, modeled after the Illinois Secretary of State's license plate renewal program, resulted in millions of dollars of new revenue and vastly improved customer service at a lower cost to taxpayers. The program was awarded a 2015 “Bright Idea Award” from Harvard University.
As Clerk, Mendoza also took on the puppy mill industry, successfully authoring and passing a City-wide ban on the sale of dogs, cats and rabbits in pet stores unless they are sourced from humane shelters or rescue organizations.
Prior to her service as City Clerk, Mendoza served six terms between 2001 and 2011 as a Democrat in the Illinois House of Representatives. Starting as the youngest member of the 92nd Illinois General Assembly, she quickly earned a reputation as a tenacious and effective legislator, who stood out for her bipartisan approach to governing. Mendoza was routinely recognized for her leadership in the areas of social services, education, law enforcement, job creation and animal welfare.
Mendoza served as Co-Chairperson of the Conference of Women Legislators and has served three times as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention. She is a co-founder of the Illinois Legislative Latino Caucus.
In 2004, Mendoza was named one of Crain's Chicago Business Magazine’s "40 Under 40" and in 2011 she was highlighted again in the magazine's "Women to Watch" series. Most recently, she was listed in Chicago Magazine’s March 2016 “Power 50” edition.
Mendoza has been part of the US Department of State’s Professional Speaker's Program, which aims to promote democracy and leadership across the globe. Through this program she has visited Uganda, Tanzania, Mexico, Peru, Brazil, Venezuela and Chile. She was also Chairman of the Illinois International Trade and Commerce Committee.
In 2010, Mendoza was selected by the National Conference of Women Legislators, at the behest of the US Secretary of State, to serve as one of only seven women representing the United States as an international observer of the Iraqi elections in Baghdad.
As Comptroller, Mendoza plans to bring the same tenacity, passion and creativity that she has always exhibited throughout her career in public service. A tested and proven executive officer, Susana is uniquely qualified to help the State get itself back on track financially in a way that doesn’t put the burden on the backs of the working-class families that make Illinois such a great place to live. She will be an independent, truth-telling, fiscal watchdog that prioritizes both the fiscal and moral health of the State. Mendoza will work to enhance the overall internal control environment of the State to run a more effective, transparent and efficient office. Susana will also work to broker needed fiscal stewardship measures across the Illinois state enterprise and leverage technological advances to make it more efficient and easier to maintain accountable stewardship of and control over funds.
Mendoza lives in Chicago’s Portage Park neighborhood with her husband David and their four-year-old son David Quinten. She is a foodie, a soccer fan (and former collegiate soccer player) and occasionally loves jumping out of perfectly fine airplanes.