West Deerfield Township Supervisor Julie Morrison, of Deerfield, planned on spending Saturday morning in Deerfield, Highland Park and , campaigning to procure the Democratic nomination to succeed retiring Sen. Susan Garrett, D-Lake Forest.
Before the day was over, she learned another candidate was about to join the race as a contender for the Republican nomination in the March 20 primary. The general election will be in November 2012.
Highland Park pediatrician Arie Friedman filed papers Aug. 11 with the Illinois State Board of Elections to seek the Republican nomination. No other Democrats other than Morrison have registered with the state or declared their intention to run.
“It’s an open seat,” Morrison said. “I fully expected the Republicans to run a candidate in the primary."
Friedman has not made a formal announcement but told Patch on Saturday that he would be a candidate.
“I intend to run,” Friedman said. “I want to help get Illinois on a correct fiscal path to bring jobs and prosperity back.”
Morrison expected to meet voters, listen to their concerns and discuss issues important to her. She did not know that she would be followed through the three suburbs by a pair of Tea Party supporters.
Two of the first people she met when she started her day at in Deerfield were Blair Garber, of Evanston, and C.J. Ford, of Northbrook.
They identified themselves as citizen bloggers, respectfully listened to Morrison’s positions and asked if they could videotape her, according to Lake County Board member Michelle Feldman, of Deerfield. Feldman is supporting Morrison and accompanied her on her Deerfield and Highland Park stops.
Garber and Ford arrived at Morrison’s Highland Park event a few minutes before the candidate. Her schedule was publically disclosed. They told Patch they support Tea Party values.
“It’s of interest to us if anyone on the North Shore is running for public office,” Garber said. “I’m interested in being on top of the issues.”
Morrison gave permission for the videotaping.
“I was a little surprised they spent half a day following 20 feet behind me,” she said.
Nearly everyone else who met Morrison was out enjoying a late summer morning.
John Kazarian, of Lake Forest, met Morrison for the first time Saturday at the downtown Lake Forest Starbucks. He considers himself an independent who has voted for both Republicans and Democrats.
“With local government, national party feelings are not that important,” Kazarian said. “They deal mainly with individuals. I will definitely consider her.”
Martha Simpson, of Lake Forest, has a more definite idea of what is important to her in a candidate. She is active with and has a passion for the environment.
“I want someone who is interested in the environment," Simpson said. "It’s not the only issue but it is important to our future. I don’t know who else is running.”