By Dee Longfellow

For The Independent

On Sunday, Sept. 13 just before the 3rd annual “Talkie Trot” to support the Center for Speech and Language Disorders (CSLD), Pete DiCianni, County Board member (Dist. 2) and former Mayor of Elmhurst, announced his intentions to seek the seat in the U.S. House of Representatives representing Illinois’ 8th District as a Republican. The seat was vacated when Tammy Duckworth decided to run for U.S. Senate and give up her Congressional seat.

Surrounded by elected officials, the music blasted the theme from the movie Rocky (Gonna Fly Now) as DiCianni took the stage to make his announcement. It took place at York & South Streets in Elmhurst, near the Knights of Columbus Hall.

Pete and his wife Rose took the initiative eight years ago to raise awareness and financial support for families with autism and other disabilities that effect communication. Their daughter Brianna was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder and had difficulty mostly with her speech, which was helped exponentially by the CSLD.

In addition to serving on the DuPage County Board, DiCianni currently serves as chairman of the Illinois Autism Task Force, serving under two governors. DiCianni led the charge to make sure autism was covered by insurance carriers in Illinois. Back in 2008, they learned their insurance did not cover Brianna’s diagnosis and treatment. Long story short, Brianna’s Law is now law in Illinois as well as in 38 other states.

DiCianni also served as Mayor of the City of Elmhurst, his hometown. He has championed bi-partisan legislation affecting healthcare access for children with disabilities, public safety, education and the elderly.

“Autism is the #1 medical condition affecting children in the United States according to the Center for Disease Controls,” he said. “Autism is now diagnosed in one in every 50 children born today and is outpacing all other children’s conditions, including pediatric AIDS, pediatric cancer, juvenile diabetes, Down syndrome and cerebral palsy combined.”

For further questions call Pete DiCianni 630-674-5198 or email


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