Rosemont's Stephens adds GOP House leadership post

Add one more title to Rosemont Mayor and state Rep. Brad Stephens' business card: Assistant House Minority Leader.

The Republican politician who has been the Northwest suburb's mayor since 2007 and in the General Assembly since 2019 was named to new House Republican Leader Tony McCombie's leadership team, which is otherwise composed of downstate Republicans.

Stephens, who represents the 20th House District, is a bit of a political anomaly: He's the only Republican whose district includes the city of Chicago. And with state Rep. Marty McLaughlin, he is one of only two House Republicans in Cook County.

Also the longtime committeeman for the Leyden Township Regular Republican Organization, Stephens fended off a challenge from a Democratic opponent in 2020 and was unopposed in the 2022 election. He was appointed by fellow committeemen in June 2019 to succeed his longtime political ally, Michael McAuliffe.

McCombie, now the highest-ranking House Republican after Jim Durkin's surprise exit, pointed to Stephens' experience on economic development issues in Rosemont, as well as his knowledge of issues facing law enforcement and first responders.

Even after the recent remapping, the 20th District still takes in large portions of Chicago's Northwest Side - long a home to police officers, firefighters and city workers.

Stephens is one of six assistant leaders in the House Republican caucus that includes a dozen officers overall. Democrats, led by Speaker Emanuel "Chris" Welch, have 17 representatives in leadership positions.

"We will urge our friends across the aisle to support our ideas that help grow the economy, create jobs for working families, fight skyrocketing property taxes, and urge support for law enforcement while they combat the ongoing crime issues impacting our families and local businesses," Stephens said in an announcement of his appointment.

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