Lake Bluff Resident Joins Race for Garrett Seat
Business consultant Milton Sumption, a Democrat, opposes Deerfield’s Julie Morrison for state Senate.
Lake Bluff business consultant Milton Sumption plans to file petitions Tuesday to become the second Democrat seeking to replace retiring state Sen. Susan Garrett, D-Lake Forest, in the March 20 primary.
West Deerfield Township Supervisor Julie Morrison is the only other Democrat in the race. She began her campaign in August and submitted her paperwork Nov. 28. Garrett has endorsed Morrison. Highland Park pediatrician Arie Friedman is the only Republican contender so far.
Sumption, 48, long has held a belief that public service is important and feels it is time for his return after 17 years in the private sector. He made a brief attempt to win the Democratic nomination for the 10th Congressional District seat in 2010.
“I think that my background is well-suited to deal with the state’s issues at this time,” Sumption said in explaining why he believes the timing is right for his return to the public arena. “My financial background positions me well to work on balancing the budget, job creation and the pension deficit.”
In the last two years, Sumption believes it has become even more imperative for people with a background in private business to put their skills to use benefiting government.
‘I believe we need more people with private sector experience in elected positions,” Sumption said. “I want to apply the lessons I’ve learned in the private sector to work on constructive solutions for Illinois’ most-pressing challenges to develop policies that will positively impact people’s lives.”
Economic development is the key to both job creation and budget balancing, according to Sumption. He sees growth as the primary ingredient to keeping jobs in Illinois and creating more.
“One of the ways we create jobs is through economic growth,” Sumption said. “We must do a better job of showing business why Illinois is a better place to do business. We want to work with companies to find the work force here. We have a great work force.”
Recognizing a need to balance a good business climate with a good environment for working people, Sumption claims he would have voted against the state income tax increase passed in January.
“Increasing revenue is not the only solution to our problems,” Sumption said. “We must make a commitment to spending cuts as well and do a better job of allocating our tax dollars.”
After graduating from DePauw University in Greencastle, Ind., in 1986, Sumption worked in the banking industry for two years before joining the Peace Corps, where he taught mathematics in Africa for two years.
“It was a phenomenal experience, one of the best of my life,” Sumption said. When his two-year term was over, he wanted more public service. “I wanted to work on Capitol Hill, drove there and took a job as a volunteer intern in the mailroom.”
The person who hired him was former Sen. Tom Daschle, D-S.D., his party’s leader in the U.S. Senate. Before leaving 18 months later to earn a MBA from Columbia University in New York, he rose to the level of legislative assistant specializing in science, technology and other issues.
Even before working for Daschle, Sumption embraced the values of the Democratic Party. “Hard work should be rewarded and we must have a compassion for others,” he said. “I want to help my fellow neighbors and provide opportunity to everyone.”