CHICAGO (WBBM) — Lesser-known mayoral candidate Patricia Watkins says ending corruption in city government would go a long way toward helping Chicago close its budget gap.

Patricia Watkins is a Certified Public Accountant with a doctorate in running not-for-profit groups. The mayoral hopeful cites a report saying corruption costs Chicago half a billion dollars a year.

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So, Watkins says ending corruption could help balance the budget.

“Part of that is having someone from the outside coming in who is not tied to all of these different people and having to grease all these palms and start coming in and bring real solutions to the table,” she said. “I know that requires compromise … but that’s what I have been doing for years.”

“Yes, we can cut spending … we can find new ways to bring in new revenue,” she said. “But I think a major part of the problem that we have in Chicago is that the career politicians have been so busy taking care of each other that they have forgotten the needs of the people.”

Patricia Watkins is one of the guests on Newsradio 780’s “At Issue” program this weekend. You can hear more of her comments Sunday at 9:30 a.m.and 9:30 p.m.