COD board chairwoman among candidates running for 47th Illinois House District seat

Deanne Mazzochi[]

College of DuPage Board of Trustees Chairwoman Deanne Mazzochi is among those seeking to win the 47th Illinois House District seat following the decision of longtime state Rep. Patti Bellock, R-Hinsdale, not to run for another term.

Bellock has served in the state legislature since 1999. Mazzochi, of Elmhurst, will face Western Springs resident Anthony Arendt in the March 20 Republican primary. Elmhurst resident James Caffrey and Downers Grove resident Anne Sommerkamp will face each other in the Democratic primary.

The winner from each primary will face each other in the Nov. 6 general election.

After being swept into office in April 2015 as part of a slate of candidates looking to implement reforms at the college, Mazzochi was chosen to be board chairwoman during an organizational meeting in April 2016. She was elected chairwoman for the second consecutive year at the board's annual organizational meeting in April 2017.

"The public deserves an advocate ensuring their taxes are not needlessly raised; and their tax dollars are spent ethically, transparently, and in support of initiatives with strong bipartisan support," Mazzochi stated on her website. "I believe in as much local control over your tax dollars as possible."

Arendt grew up in La Grange and served 15 years with the U.S. Navy. He is executive director of the Midwest region of The Mission Continues, a nonprofit organization that helps veterans who are adjusting to life at home to find purpose through community impact.

Caffrey interned with the late U.S. Sen. Edward Kennedy, and he has been an organizer at various levels in four Democratic campaigns, according to his website.

"As your representative, I will stand for all of the people in the 47th district, working with Democrats and Republicans alike to make Illinois stronger," he stated on his website.

Sommerkamp worked for CNN in Atlanta and Washington D.C. and was part of the 9 p.m. news team at WFLD-TV Chicago.

"I spent 20 years calling politicians out on lies as a journalist," Sommerkamp stated on her website. "I've actually run for office before. Wasting taxpayer money ticks me off and I can't be bought. Send me to Springfield, I'll work for your interests, not special interests."