officially started her campaign to replace retiring , with Garrett’s endorsement before a crowd of more than 50 supporters Thursday at a Deerfield restaurant.
No other Democrats have declared their candidacy to seek the nomination to succeed Garrett in the March 20 primary. Highland Park pediatrician has said he will run as a Republican. Candidates have started circulating petitions for the primary.
“Julie (Morrison) has 14 years of experience as a township supervisor and knows firsthand how to balance budgets and operate an organization without debt,” Garrett said. “West Deerfield Township has the lowest tax rate of any township in Lake County.”
Besides Garrett, Morrison was surrounded by a host of Democratic elected officials and candidates offering their support. They included , and North Shore Sanitary District President and former Highland Park Mayor Dan Pierce, who stood at the podium with Garrett and Morrison.
“Susan was my choice for the senate 10 years ago when I got a 50 percent new district,” Link told Patch before the event began. “Julie exemplifies a lot of what Susan stands for and has the experience to represent the new 29th.”
Large shoes to fill
Morrison paid tribute to Garrett’s time in the General Assembly, particularly her ethics and efforts to help all her constituents.
“Could there possibly be larger shoes to fill?” Morrison asked the crowd. “I pledge to continue Susan’s efforts to make state government transparent, accessible and (the provider of) efficient services for the public.”
Unable to attend were , who was traveling, according to Morrison, and . The entire areas to be represented by May and Nekritz under the new legislative map passed in June encompass Morrison’s district.
May already has endorsed Morrison and Nekritz and told Patch she intended to announce her support at Thursday's event. She was unable to attend because she had surgery in the morning.
Helping the disenfranchised
Garrett added praise for Morrison’s efforts geared toward those she considers the more disenfranchised in the community and her ability to create partnerships from different groups to help those in need.
“Julie Morrison has established partnerships with local human service organizations (that have) effectively addressed the needs of people without food, shelter or health care by identifying people and resources to help.”
Lake County state’s attorney candidate , of Libertyville, a Lake Forest lawyer and former Lake County Board member , of Highland Park, were also there to show their support. Morrison’s efforts in the area of social service attracted Spielman.
“Julie has already shown leadership in one of the things I care most about, social service,” Spielman said. “She’s good at budgeting and money management. She will start with a leg up."
Morrison also talked about the need for job creation in northern Cook and Lake counties to help overcome the economic difficulties many in the area face. She wants to create those opportunities working with Republicans and Democrats in Springfield.
“I believe this district wants someone who understands how devastating a lost job can be,” Morrison said. She wants to put partisanship aside to create “a welcoming business environment where jobs can be grown and created.”