ROCKFORD — Attorney Dave Vella, a Democrat, has his sights set on the 68th District state representative seat occupied by Rep. John Cabello, R-Machesney Park.
Both men launched their respective campaigns on Wednesday. The district includes sections of northwest and east Rockford, Loves Park, Machesney Park and Cherry Valley.
Vella’s grandfather, E.J. “Zeke” Giorgi, served the Rockford area as a state representative in Springfield for nearly 30 years until his death in 1993.
“When I was a kid, I went down to Springfield with him,” Vella said. “I was a page for a while in the House and he’s always been my hero.”
Cabello is a self-described tax watchdog and a Rockford Police Department officer.
“I have been honored to serve the people of the 68th District in the Illinois General Assembly and I once again will step up and represent their interests,” Cabello said in a news release. “Every two years I have had my name on the ballot and voters have responded by sending me to Springfield to fight against higher taxes and spending.”
The state’s 2020 primary election is March 17. The general election is Nov. 3.
Vella, 48, is managing partner of the law firm Vella & Lund and is embracing what he said is a new strategy to fight domestic violence while empowering victims.
“I will make it a priority in my time downstate to support and encourage the creation of the vital Winnebago County Family Justice Center,” Vella said on his campaign website. “This will serve as a beacon to all victims of domestic violence in our area and combat the most pervasive violent crime in our community. They will have a place to come for support, for services and most importantly to break the cycle of violence.”
Vella is also touting what he said is the great promise in problem-solving courts, which address addiction, mental health problems and veterans issues.
He supports the restoration of passenger rail service between Rockford and Chicago, which was discontinued in 1981.
“We’re going to have to get help from the federal government and we’re going to have to get more money from the state,” he said. “It’s probably going to have to be a government-business partnership.”
Vella, who once tackled a client who witnesses say punched a prosecutor in a courtroom, earned his law degree at Northern Illinois University. He currently serves as an elected trustee for Rockford Township.
Cabello, 48, was appointed to represent the 68th District when Rep. Dave Winters stepped down in August 2012. He was first elected to the seat in November 2012 and has served ever since.
Cabello said he will continue to fight against what he called the radical agenda of the Democratic Party, which now controls Illinois government.
“I am representing the values and wishes of the people of the 68th District who are tired of paying more taxes and seeing the businesses and jobs fleeing the state because of the anti-business agenda of the party in power,” Cabello said. “I am also proud to have done everything I could to protect the protectors, firefighters and first responders.”
Ken DeCoster: 815-987-1391; email@example.com; @DeCosterKen
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September 4, 2019 at 06:25PM