of Deerfield planned on spending Saturday morning in Deerfield, Highland Park and Lake Forest, campaigning to procure the Democratic nomination to succeed retiring .
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 Saturday 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 met with more than 75 citizens as she made stops at a pair of coffee shops, a bakery and . She said that she learned locals want to see changes in state government more than anything.
“People want their tax dollars used wisely,” Morrison said. “Everyone expressed dissatisfaction with how things are in Springfield. No one had very much good to say.”
Morrison expected to meet voters, listen to their concerns and discusss 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 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 with coffee, cupcakes or art. In Deerfield, Beth McDowell said she was aware of Morrison's work as township supervisor.
“Our sons went to school together,” McDowell said. “She does an excellent job. She is very effective helping people.”
John Straus, a Highland Park native who lives in Deerfield, has known Morrison since their student days at Knox College. He learned she was running when he saw her Saturday and his endorsement was immediate.
“She is well versed in local government and has the necessary experience to be doing this,” Straus said.
David and Frances Griffin were also thrilled to see Morrison campaigning and learn she was a candidate. They have known Morrison and her husband, Joe Morrison, since they all moved to Deerfield nearly 30 years ago.
“It’s very exciting for me," Frances Griffin said. "She’s done a good job for the people in the township.”
Dennis Skolnik of Highland Park was at when Morrison arrived to meet voters. Skolnik is the director of finance and information systems for Family Service, a group catering to people in need. He worked with the West Deerfield Township supervisor to help bring the organization's services to Deerfield.
“She has been very helpful with our efforts at the ,” Skolnik said.
John Kazarian of Lake Forest met Morrison for the first time Saturday at the Lake Forest . 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.”