The 68th district includes portions of Rockford, Machesney Park, Roscoe, Loves Park, and Cherry Valley. This election features a political newcomer against a two-term incumbent.
Republican John Cabello was appointed to the 68th district seat in August 2012 when Rep. Dave Winters resigned. Cabello was elected to the seat three months later and has held the position since then.
Cabello has lived in Machesney Park since he was a child; he graduated from Harlem High School. He has been a police officer for nearly 20 years, starting in South Beloit, then the Rockford Police Department, where he became a detective. Currently, Cabello is on leave from his job but stays in the business as an executive with security and investigations firm Stewart & Associates.
As a lawmaker, Cabello chairs the House Republican Organization. He is a member of seven House committees: Appropriations-Public Safety, Judiciary-Criminal, Labor & Commerce, Public Utilities, Intermodal Infrastructure, Tollway Oversight, and Workforce Reconciliation Subcommittee.
Tricia Cratty Sweeney grew up in Roscoe and earned degrees from Rock Valley College and the University of Illino. She has attended Stirling University in Scotland and Rockford University’s MBA program. She lives in Loves Park and is a long-time marketing professional.
Sweeney says she was inspired to run for office as she watched how the state budget impasse was hurting her community.
In the past, she served on the boards for the Rockford Area Arts Council and Rockford Dance Company. She has worked in her family’s marketing firm: previous jobs included Director of Development for the Rock Valley College Foundation, followed by a turn as Director of Marketing for R.V.C.
This report was compiled by WNIJ's Susan Stephens