Graham Kilmer
MKE County

Fox Point Trustee to Run for County Board

"Relatively frugal" liberal Democrat Liz Sumner to run for seat Lipscomb is vacating.

By - Nov 19th, 2019 03:40 pm
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Liz Sumner. Photo courtesy of LizforWisconsin.

Liz Sumner. Photo courtesy of LizforWisconsin.

Liz Sumner, a trustee on the Fox Point Village Board, announced her candidacy for the Supervisor seat that Theo Lipscomb currently holds on the Milwaukee County Board. Lipscomb, the board chair, isn’t seeking reelection because he is running for County Executive, an open position due to incumbent Chris Abele‘s decision to retire at the end of his term. 

Sumner is the first and only candidate for the County Board’s 1st district. 

Sumner is a graduate of Marquette University, where she studied political science, and holds an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. She is the owner of SHOP, a women’s clothing store on N. Oakland Avenue in Shorewood. And she’s been a trustee for the Fox Point Village Board since 2014. 

In 2018 she ran unsuccessfully for Wisconsin Assembly District 23 as a Democrat, looking to unseat Rep. Jim Ott. During that campaign she made environmental protection and public school funding major planks of her campaign. She received endorsements from the Clean Wisconsin Action Fund and the Sierra Club. She lost in a fairly close race, with 48 percent of the vote. 

In a press release announcing her candidacy and in an interview with Urban Milwaukee, Sumner said maintaining the county parks system is an issue driving her decision to run. The parks system currently has a massive backlog of capital projects, and both county and independent analyses show that the county will never have enough money to maintain the system unless new sources of revenue are realized.

Sumner said she understands the “cash-strapped” nature of the county budget. She believes strengthening the county’s partnerships with Friends groups could be an important part of addressing the challenges to the parks system.

Sumner said she doesn’t necessarily subscribe to political labels because they have a tendency to shut down conversations. But, she did offer that she’s a liberal Democrat, believing in public stewardship and adequately funding public services, though “relatively frugal with financing,” she added

In her campaign announcement she touted the work she and her colleagues on the Fox Point Village Board did to manage debt, maintain a AAA bond rating and balance budgets.

Her press release also stated, “Our most important resources are delivered at the local level.” In 2018, in an interview with Wisconsin Eye, Sumner talked about the importance of local control, and spoke against levy limits that constrict local government’s ability to fund local services.

Sumner’s experience with increasing involvement in local government is something she hopes to bring with her to the county board. As she told Urban Milwaukee: “I think that there’s a lot of opportunities to get people more involved.”

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Categories: MKE County, Politics

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