Dianda endorses Summers to take 110th District baton

Garrett Neese/Daily Mining Gazette Ken Summers of Baraga, left, shakes hands with State Rep. Scott Dianda, D-Calumet, after his endorsement of Summers for the 110th District race. Dianda, who has held the post for three terms, cannot run again due to term limits.

HOUGHTON — Ken Summers got some important backing for his 110th District State House of Representatives run from people already in the chamber when state Reps. Scott Dianda, D-Calumet, and Sara Cambensy, D-Marquette, gave the Baraga resident their endorsement at a Friday event at the Super-8 Hotel.

Dianda, the current 110th District representative, is unable to run again because of term limits. He is seeking the 38th District Senate seat.

Dianda said he had been impressed by Summers while traveling with him across the 110th District over the past few months.

“Every one of the seven counties means everything to him, and that’s why it was so important, I wanted to find somebody that was going to be out there, that was going to be able to take care of those issues,” he said.

Dianda said goals for the future needs to include education, developing small businesses and making sure people can stay in the U.P.

“We’ve got to be there to be able to have that argument when you’ve got people in Lansing who do not want to fund the things that are so important to us,” he said. “We live in this state because it’s one of the best, and we’ve got to make sure it stays that way. And I know Ken’s going to be there for that.”

Cambensy thanked Summers for the number of appearances he made during her special election campaign.

“The people that really make a difference down there are the people that aren’t there for the job,” she said. “They’re the people that want to be there. And that’s why I think Ken is going to be an outstanding member to join us on this U.P. delegation. He’s been all over the U.P. with Scott. He’s been at all of my events, and he wants to do good work for our district.”

Summers, a L’Anse native, moved back several years ago after working as an option trader in Chicago. The inspiration was a speech he gave as commencement speaker at L’Anse High School.

“As I was writing it and delivering it, I realized I should probably take some of that advice myself,” he said. “The main reason I wanted to do that is because that’s where I thought I could make the biggest difference — helping my community and lifting them up the way they lifted me up throughout my early childhood.”

Summers, who attended the play “The Mountaintop” as part of MLK Week, said the message to “take the baton” resonated with him.

“I feel like it’s part of my responsibility to take the baton — take the baton from Scott, who has done great work in that district,” he said. “In Memphis, they were fighting for the sanitation workers … I think we need to get back to stuff like that.”