Former Illinois Comptroller Dawn Clark Netsch has died at age 86. Netsch's former chief of staff and longtime friend Wendy Cohen says Netsch died early Tuesday. Netsch said in January she had been diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease, a fatal nerve disorder. Netsch spent 18 years serving in the state senate and was the first woman to run on a major ticket for governor in Illinois. The Democrat was known for her directness during her more than six decades in Illinois politics. During her career, she served as an adviser to Illinois Governor Otto Kerner Junior, helped rewrite the Illinois Constitution in 1970, and was elected state comptroller in 1990. She ran for governor in 1994 and lost to Republican incumbent Jim Edgar.
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