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ENDORSEMENT: Brad Stephens for Illinois House in 20th District

Democrats have failed to field a candidate who could do a better job down in Springfield.

endorsement, brad stephens, illinois house 20th district, 2020 election
The Sun-Times endorses incumbent Brad Stephens for Illinois House in the 20th District.
Sun-Times Media

State Rep. Brad Stephens says he’s always ready to break ranks with fellow Republicans to back bills that serve his district. Maybe so. He certainly did that with a flare in May when he alone, among all House Republicans, voted to expand early voting in Illinois because of the pandemic.

Stephens, who also is the mayor of Rosemont, is in a tough race against Chicago firefighter and paramedic Michelle Darbro. Democrats are pouring money into the race to support Darbro and knock off Stephens, who was appointed to the seat last year. The 20th is the only state House district with Chicago turf that is represented by a Republican. Darbro strikes us as earnest and kind, but her grasp of the issues and legislative process is limited.

Stephens, on the other hand, is already skilled in the ways of Springfield, which is no surprise given that he grew up a Stephens in Rosemont. His father, Donald, was mayor for five decades, and the family still controls the town. That’s our one big reservation about Stephens — the stench of nepotism is thick. But nobody has fielded a better candidate in this race. Stephens is endorsed.

Illinois House 20th District map, 2020 election
Illinois House 20th District map.
Illustration by Caroline Hurley

To read more Sun-Times endorsements, please go to For more information about this race and others, including candidate questionnaires, go to our Illinois voting guide. Our newspaper is owned by a group of civic-minded and, in some cases, politically active investors; for details, see our owner information page.

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