John Cavaletto

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John Cavaletto
Member of the Illinois House of Representatives
from the 107th district
In office
January 14, 2009 – January 9, 2019
Preceded byKurt Granberg
Succeeded byBlaine Wilhour
Personal details
Born (1940-06-08) June 8, 1940 (age 83)
Centenary, Indiana
Political partyRepublican
ResidenceSalem, Illinois[1]
Alma materSouthern Illinois University
ProfessionRetired school principal and basketball coach

John D. Cavaletto (born June 8, 1940)[2] was a Republican member of the Illinois House of Representatives, representing the 107th District since his election in 2008. On September 18, 2017, Cavaletto announced he would not be seeking reelection in 2018.[3] He was succeeded by Republican Blaine Wilhour.[4]


John D. Cavaletto was born June 8, 1940, in Centenary, Indiana. From a family of immigrant coal miners, he was raised in Sesser, Illinois. A congratulatory resolution passed by the Illinois House of Representatives recounts that, at age he and his future wife, Connie, obtained their social security cards together so they could go to work at the summer camp for disabled children at Giant City State Park in Carbondale. After many years of developing programs for special needs people, his summer programs became the model for the Kennedy Foundation and its program that would become the Special Olympics movement.[5] After graduating from Sesser High School, Cavaletto went on to earn his bachelor's and master's degrees in education at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale.[5] He received his Administrative Endorsement from Eastern Illinois University.

John became a teacher and basketball coach—taking the Breese Mater Dei High School basketball team to the Illinois State Championships and leading that team to 4th Place in the very competitive big schools division of Illinois in 1974.[5][6] He became the principal of Salem Community High School and retired from there in 2001.[5]

Political career[edit]

Cavaletto challenged Democratic incumbent Kurt Granberg in the 2002 general election[7] and in the 2006 general election to represent the 107th district in the Illinois House of Representatives.[8] The 107th district included all of Jefferson and Marion counties and portions of Clinton and Fayette counties.[9] In the latter campaign, Cavaletto came within 126 votes of defeating Granberg.[10] After Granberg declined to run for reelection in 2008, Caveletto defeated Democratic candidate and Marion County Treasurer Patti Hahn for the seat.[11][12] He was sworn into office on January 14, 2009.[1]

As a result of the 2011 redistricting process, Caveletto's 107th district was redrawn to add Bond County and portions of Effingham County and to remove Jefferson County.[13]

Representative Cavaletto served on the Appropriations – Public Safety Committee, Counties and Townships Committee, Elementary & Secondary Education: School Curriculum & Policies Committee, Transportation, Regulation Roads & Bridges Committee and serves as the Minority Spokesperson for both the newly created Special Needs Services Committee and the Small Business Empowerment & Workforce Development Committee. He has also served on the Agriculture & Conservation Committee and the Cities & Villages Committee.

The recipient of the "Legislator of the Year" Award from the Illinois Association of Fire Protection Districts, Mr. Cavaletto has also been awarded the Illinois Farm Bureau's ACTIVATOR Award as a "Friend of Agriculture" each legislative session of his service.[5]


  1. ^ a b Mahoney, Mark (Clerk of the House) (January 14, 2009). "Newly Elected Representatives" (PDF). Journal of the Illinois House of Representatives. Springfield, Illinois: Illinois House of Representatives. 96 (1): 5.
  2. ^ "Illinois General Assembly - Representative Biography".
  3. ^ Sapp, Greg (September 18, 2017). "Cavaletto Will Not Seek Re-Election as State Representative". Effingham, Illinois: 97.5 XFM. Retrieved September 18, 2017.
  4. ^ Barlow, Sarah E., ed. (November 15, 2018). "Biographies of New House Members" (PDF). First Reading. Illinois Legislative Research Unit. pp. 2–8. Retrieved December 12, 2018.
  5. ^ a b c d e Durkin, Jim (November 29, 2018). "House Resolution 1313 - Congratulate John D. Cavaletto". Illinois General Assembly. Retrieved September 26, 2023.
  6. ^ van Dyck, Dave (March 24, 1974). "Ankle-sprain jinx hounding Proviso". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved September 26, 2023.
  7. ^ Chambers, Aaron (February 1, 2002). "Politcal [sic] Kaleidoscope: The new legislative map reflects shifts in Illinois' population". NPR Illinois. Retrieved September 26, 2023.
  8. ^ Carlson, Bethany (September 1, 2006). "Campaign Lifelines: Downstate Democrats swim in increasingly conservative waters". NPR Illinois. Retrieved September 26, 2023.
  9. ^ White, Jesse (ed.). "Legislative Districts of Illinois 2001 Reapportionment". Illinois Blue Book 2011-2012 (PDF). Springfield, Illinois: Illinois Secretary of State. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 8, 2013. Retrieved September 26, 2023.
  10. ^ Official Vote Cast at the General Election November 7, 2006. Illinois State Board of Elections. November 7, 2006. Retrieved September 26, 2023.
  11. ^ Erickson, Kurt (October 1, 2008). "Target Time: The Illinois GOP Hopes to Close the Gap on Democratic Legislative Majorities". NPR Illinois. Retrieved September 26, 2023.
  12. ^ Miller, David R., ed. (November 15, 2008). "Biographies of New House Members" (PDF). First Reading. Illinois Legislative Research Unit. p. 4. Retrieved September 26, 2023.
  13. ^ White, Jesse (ed.). "Legislative Districts of Illinois 2011 Reapportionment". Illinois Blue Book 2013-2014 (PDF). Springfield, Illinois: Illinois Secretary of State. p. 58. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 15, 2015. Retrieved September 26, 2023.

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