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Treasurer: Christine Radogno

Treasurer: Christine Radogno

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The race for state treasurer comes down to experience and unquestioned integrity.

A few years of experience in banking is no match for nearly 10 years in the Legislature focusing on budget and fiscal issues.

That latter experience belongs to state Sen. Christine Radogno, 53, a Republican who has served on Senate Appropriations committees as well as the Legislature's Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability.

Before becoming a senator, the former social worker was a member of the LaGrange Village Board for eight years.

Her opponent, Democrat Alexi Giannoulias, 30, is a senior loan officer and vice president at Broadway Bank, which was founded by his father in 1978.

After receiving his economics degree from Boston College, he played basketball for a year in Greece before resuming his education and receiving a law degree from Tulane University.

Giannoulias calls the treasurer "the state's banker," but the job entails more than that. It also involves working with the governor and Legislature in establishing fiscal policy.

That's where Radogno will be able to run circles around Giannoulias.

Both want to improve the state's return on investments and seek ways to leverage the state's money to spur economic development.

Giannoulias touts his banking experience in saying he could get a better return on state investments.

But treasurers have always used teams of experts in determining investment strategies, as would both Giannoulias and Radogno.

Giannoulias is bright and enthusiastic, but - despite his young age - he comes with baggage.

Loans made by his family bank, where he is a senior loan officer, have been called into question because of the reputed mob ties of at least three men who have received millions of dollars in loans.

And these questions aren't just coming from his opponent. They are coming from his own party.

House Speaker Mike Madigan, the Democratic Party's state chairman, not only has refused to endorse Giannoulias; Madigan won't even put his name and picture on the party's Web site.

That should raise doubts in voters' minds about Giannoulias.

Radogno is well-respected by members of both parties, an expert on the state's finances and better equipped to get the job done.

The Pantagraph Editorial Board endorses Christine Radogno for treasurer.

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