ELMHURST - When Pete DiCianni graduated from high school, his dad had news for him: Start a business and pay your own way through college.
Being one of seven children in an Italian Catholic family, he set out to follow his dad's instructions and started a printing business while attending the local community college. The business took off while DiCianni finished his graphics arts degree at Elmhurst College. DiCianni Graphics has grown to be a million a year business.
Twenty-four years after starting the business his dad urged him to launch, DiCianni was elected mayor of Elmhurst. After four years, he become the DuPage County Storm Water Commissioner, and soon after a member of the DuPage County Board, where he's currently the vice chairman of Economic Development.
But now DiCianni says he's ready to move to represent the people of the 8th CD in Washington D.C. Republican DiCianni is competing with Democrat businessman Raja Krishnamoorthi to fill the seat being vacated by Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth (IL-08).
The 8th CD was drawn to make the district competitive for Republicans. Governor Rauner won the 8th CD with 54% of the vote. Tom Cross won the district with 51% despite losing his statewide attempt for state treasurer.
"It's winnable," DiCianni said, "I'm rounding up the support of 26 mayors in the district, an unprecedented number for the district." Former Illinois Attorney General Jim Ryan is chairman of his campaign committee, and Congressman Peter Roskam (IL-06) is co-chairman - two substantial names within Republican circles.
DiCianni says that he's focused on going to Washington DC because one of his district's most crucial needs is infrastructure - an expense that must be subsidized by federal funding.
"We're in need of construction of roads and bridges in the 8th CD," he said. "We're going to need help from beyond Illinois."
DiCianni says he's closing in on raising $250,000, but has a ways to go in order to get the National Republican Congressional Caucus to ratchet up involvement in the race.
"The Illinois 8th Congressional District is a winnable Republican seat, the only congressional open seat in the state," he said. "I promise I will take my hard work ethic, experience and voters' voices to Washington."
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