ENDORSEMENT: Michelle Darbro for Illinois House in 20th District Democratic primary

The Chicago firefighter already is a dedicated public servant.

SHARE ENDORSEMENT: Michelle Darbro for Illinois House in 20th District Democratic primary
Endorsement, Michelle Darbro, Illinois House, 20th District, 2020 Democratic primary election

Michelle Darbro is endorsed by the Sun-Times for Illinois House in the 20th District Democratic primary.

Rich Hein/Sun-Times

Michelle Darbro says she’s up against “dynasty politics,” and she’s got that right.

The Chicago firefighter and paramedic is running in this Democratic primary against R. Cary Capparelli, the son of a longtime state representative, Ralph Capparelli. The family name hasn’t really done the son much good. He’s run for office several times before, both as a Democrat and Republican, and struck out each time.

But if Darbro manages to win this primary, she’ll be up against a more daunting family dynasty — the Stephenses of Rosemont — in the November general election. Darbro’s Republican opponent would be Rosemont Mayor Brad Stephens, who also is the incumbent representative for this state House district. Stephens, whose father, Donald, was the mayor of Rosemont for 50 years, was appointed to the Legislature last year.

Darbro, for her part, is backed by Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan, who sees a chance to flip this Republican seat to the Democrats.

Our endorsement goes to Darbro, who has demonstrated a commitment to public service simply by being a firefighter. But we don’t want to oversell this. When interviewed by the Sun-Times Editorial Board, both Darbro and Capparelli struck us as poorly informed on basic issues, such as how to solve the state’s problem of underfunded pensions.

Should Darbro win this primary race, she’ll face a formidable opponent in Stephens in the fall. She’d better bone up.


Illinois House 20th District map.

Illinois House 20th District map.

Illustration by Caroline Hurley


For more information about this race and others, including candidate questionnaires, go to our Illinois primary 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.

Send letters to: letters@suntimes.com

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