Longtime lawmaker's son could face Stephens for state House seat

  • R. Cary Capparelli

    R. Cary Capparelli

  • R. Cary Capparelli

    R. Cary Capparelli

Updated 8/13/2019 9:13 PM

A perennial candidate from Chicago's Northwest Side announced this week he will run as a Democrat for a state House seat his father held for more than three decades.

R. Cary Capparelli has entered the race for the 20th District office, which will be on the primary ballot in March 2020 and general election in November 2020. He is the son of Ralph Capparelli, who largely represented much of the same district from 1971 to 2004.


The district today includes portions of Rosemont, Des Plaines, Park Ridge, Niles, Schiller Park and Chicago's Northwest Side.

"My candidacy represents the opinion of most residents of the 20th district," Cary Capparelli said in an announcement of his candidacy. "My voice will reflect the same concerns of its constituents -- foremost to resist tax hikes, raise education standards, protect citizens from crime, and stop the rabid cronyism that exists in government."

If Capparelli fends off any potential primary opponents, he could take on another big name with a family history rooted in local politics: Brad Stephens.

Stephens, the mayor of Rosemont, was appointed by GOP committeemen June 29 to replace longtime political ally Michael McAuliffe, who stepped down after 23 years in the legislature.

In picking Stephens, local committeemen said he was the best chance for Republicans to hold onto the seat in 2020.

McAuliffe beat the elder Capparelli in 2004 when districts were redrawn, forcing the two incumbents into a head-to-head matchup.

The younger Capparelli has run for offices on both sides of the political aisle: as a Republican in 2018 and 2014 for the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District board of commissioners, and as a Democrat for the same board in 2016. He ran as a Democrat against Cook County Commissioner Peter Silvestri -- another Stephens ally -- in 2010.

Capparelli runs OMNI-Communique, a global management and marketing entity. He was an appointed member of the Illinois Bank and Real Estate Board from 1997 to 1998, and Illinois International Port District board from 2000 to 2009.

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