Endorsement: No endorsement for House District 20.
Rosemont Mayor Brad Stephens took the Illinois 20th District House seat a year ago, when he was appointed to fill the position longtime Republican Michael McAuliffe had resigned. Now, he's seeking voter approval to a full term in the job, and he boasts a host of qualifications.
He heads the Leyden Township Republican Organization and has helped Rosemont grow into one of the suburbs' most successful entertainment and business hubs. He has become thoroughly well-versed in the issues and machinations of Springfield during his first year in the House, and discusses issues with both traditional Republican fervor and a refreshing candor that, as with his views reluctantly supporting a graduated income tax because most of the district supports it, sometimes steps outside the range of the standard party line.
He has one important shortcoming, however, and it's one that we have remained steadfast on for years. He insists on maintaining his separate elected position as Rosemont mayor even as he serves in the House. We find the holding of multiple election positions to be fraught with potential for interest conflicts, so we cannot endorse Stephens on those grounds.
His opponent, Michelle Darbro, a Chicago firefighter, is a sincere and well-meaning Democrat who offers sparks of independence herself but lacks elected leadership experience needed in the General Assembly.
Her lack of experience concerns us, and we cannot support Stephens because he would hold two elected positions, so we offer no endorsement in this race.