When he entered the courtroom Monday, former state Rep. Sam Miller, R-Cook County, took a break from his courtroom duties to deliver the news that had been whispered in his ear all week.
Miller, who represents the Cooksville section of the Cook county district, was elected to the Illinois House in 2010, defeating state Sen. Anthony Manchin, D-Rochester, and losing to former state Sen, Tom Carlucci, D, for the seat held by Manchin for four years.
Miller won the Cook district by a wide margin and then lost it to Manchin in 2014.
Now he faces a race to regain the seat he held for two terms.
In his opening remarks, Miller told the crowd that the election to the seat was not about him.
“This election is about the future of the United States of America,” Miller said.
“I believe that we should stand up for the rights of all of our citizens, not just the ones who are here today.”
Miller pointed to his family and said he and his wife had been working on their retirement for the past few years.
“We want to be able to retire to a nice place, and if we are going to do that, we need to make sure that we put in the work and that we take care of our family,” he said.
Miller’s opponent, former Cook County Mayor Jim O’Sullivan, has worked hard to distance himself from Miller, telling the Chicago Sun-Times he didn’t know anything about his political past and that Miller is the “perfect choice” to run for governor.
O’Sullivan said he has “great respect” for Miller and the people of Cook County, but believes he’s “not a good fit” for the job.
Oddly, he didn`t mention that Miller was one of the people who gave the Cook commissioners a written mandate to stop requiring county residents to buy a $300 credit card to get their garbage collected, which Miller supported.
Miller also had some harsh words for the city of Chicago, saying that the city has become a “disgrace” to Cook County and that its “failure” to pay for health care and affordable housing should be an embarrassment to the nation.
“When we are asked to do things that are in the best interest of the county, and then when they are asked by the state to pay the cost, we have failed as a state and as a nation,” Miller told reporters after his remarks.
Miller told the Chicago Tribune he would fight on the November ballot for the Republican nomination and would work with former President Barack Obama, Sen. Bernie Sanders, former Gov.
Pat Quinn and others to make the state more competitive in a state that is already considered competitive in other states.
“Our job is to make Illinois a better place, not a worse place, but to make it a better state than we are right now,” Miller added.
“It`s not fair to me to the people that are here and that are going back to work.
It`s unfair to them and it`s unjust to us.
We need to work together to do what we can to make this state more attractive to people.”