Capparelli for state House District 20 in Democratic primary

  • Cary Capparelli

    Cary Capparelli

The Daily Herald Editorial Board
Posted3/1/2020 1:00 AM

Democratic voters will have a choice in the state House District 20 primary between two candidates with widely divergent views: party favorite Michelle Darbro, a Chicago firefighter with strong ties to unions and Speaker Michael Madigan, and R. Cary Capparelli of Chicago, an online instructor at South Dakota State University who has run for a variety of posts as both a Democrat and a Republican and describes himself as a moderate-conservative and traditional Democrat.

The winner will face Republican incumbent Brad Stephens, who was appointed to the state seat while continuing to serve as Rosemont mayor. The district is centered on Chicago's Northwest Side but also stretches into Rosemont, Des Plaines, Park Ridge, Niles and Schiller Park.


Darbro entered the race late, but has strong support from unions and an impressive war chest. She says she'll pursue property tax relief and a variety of women's issues, including equal pay, if elected.

Capparelli, whose father Ralph, served the district as a Democratic state representative for more than three decades, says he's prepared to stand up to cronyism and to target wasteful spending. He says he'll focus on property tax relief and dealing with the state's "unsustainable" pension woes and crumbling infrastructure.

He argues that his views are in line with traditional Democrats and most residents of the district. Darbro says that while Capparelli has flipped between parties, she is a staunch Democrat who better reflects the views of her party and constituents.

We have concerns about both candidates -- Capparelli because of his failed attempts to win other offices as a member of both parties and concerns that if he makes it to Springfield he may be marginalized; and Darbro because of concerns she may be too beholden to Madigan to provide an independent voice.

The slight edge goes to Capparelli in the hope he is better equipped to find common ground. He is endorsed.

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