Capri Cafaro
Member of the Ohio Senate
from the 32nd district
In office
January 2, 2007 – December 31, 2016
Preceded byMarc Dann
Succeeded bySean O'Brien
Personal details
Born (1977-11-21) November 21, 1977 (age 46)
Youngstown, Ohio, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Residence(s)Hubbard, Ohio, U.S.
Alma materStanford University, Georgetown University

Capri Silvestri Cafaro (born November 21, 1977) is a former Democratic member of the Ohio Senate, representing the 32nd District from 2007 to 2016. From the Mahoning Valley, Cafaro served three terms as an Ohio State Senator (2007 to 2016), including a stint as Minority Leader from 2009 to 2012. Her district included all of Trumbull County, Ashtabula County and portions of Geauga County (including the City of Chardon; but excluding Chardon Township).

She is a TV personality, appearing as a contributor on Fox News Channel, primarily as a semi-regular co-host of the afternoon talk show Outnumbered.

Early life, family and education

Cafaro was born and raised in Youngstown, Ohio. Her father is shopping mall developer John Cafaro.[1] She is of Italian descent.

She attended Youngstown private schools Kennedy School and then Ursuline High School at age 12.[2] By age 19, she graduated from Stanford University[2][3] with a BA in American Studies[4][2] and from Georgetown University with a MALS in International Studies.[5]


Cafaro served on the Trumbull County Senior Services Advisory Council and was a State Policy Liaison for Ohio with the National Patient Advocate Foundation.[5] She was also a State Advocate Representative for the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare and served as a councilor for the Medicare Rights Center.[5] Cafaro has also acted as an Economic Policy Associate for Global Action on Aging, an NGO with consultative status at the United Nations.[5]

As a political novice, Cafaro won a surprise victory in the 2004 Democratic primary for Ohio's 14th congressional district, topping a five-candidate field,[2] which included 2002 nominee Dale V. Blanchard, columnist Herb Hammer, U.S. Marine Charles L. Wolfe, and Ohio state Rep. Ed Jerse (who received the endorsement of the Akron Beacon Journal newspaper). Cafaro polled 54% of the vote, while Jerse, the second-place finisher, managed 19%. In the general election, however, she lost to Republican Steve LaTourette.[6]

Cafaro again ran for the Democratic nomination in the open 13th Congressional District in 2006, placing second in a nine-candidate primary, behind future Congresswoman Betty Sutton. That seat was vacated by U.S. Representative Sherrod Brown, Democrat who replaced Republican Senator Mike DeWine in the U.S. Senate after defeating him on November 7, 2006.[citation needed]

As of 2017, Cafaro was the Executive in Residence at American University's School of Public Affairs and gave commentary on political events as a contributor on Fox News.[7]

Ohio Senate

In 2007, Cafaro was appointed to the 32nd District of the Ohio Senate to replace Marc Dann after Dann won the Ohio Attorney General's race on November 7, 2006.[8]

One year after becoming a member of the Ohio General Assembly, Cafaro secured a leadership position as the assistant minority whip for the Senate Democrats.[9]

In 2008, Cafaro was elected to her first full term after running unopposed in the general election. Soon after, she was elected Minority Leader by her colleagues for the 128th General Assembly.[10] Cafaro again served as Minority Leader in the 129th General Assembly.[11] Cafaro would serve as Leader for three years until she stepped down and was replaced in 2012 as Ohio Senate Minority Leader by Senator Eric Kearney. She won a second full term to her Senate seat in the 2012 general election, defeating Republican Nancy McArthur 67% to 33%.[12]

Cafaro played a prominent role in the Medicaid expansion efforts in Ohio,[13] and has sought to codify the expansion permanently in Ohio law.[14] She has offered legislation numerous times to do so.[15]

Cafaro did not seek reelection to the Ohio state senate in 2016 due to term limits.[16]

Election history

Ohio Senate 32nd District: Results 2008 to 2012
Year Democrat Votes Pct Republican Votes Pct
2008 Capri Cafaro 106,178 100.00%
2012 Capri Cafaro 96,426 66.95% Nancy McArthur 47,611 33.05%

See also


  1. ^ Krouse, Peter (February 23, 2010). "State Sen. Capri Cafaro's dad admits making illegal contribution to her unsuccessful bid for Congress". Retrieved October 13, 2023.
  2. ^ a b c d Hutchison, John Arthur. "Race for the 14th: Capri Cafaro". The News-Herald. Retrieved 2020-10-28.
  3. ^ Stratton, Ted S. "Capri Cafaro brings enthusiastic challenge". Cleveland Jewish News. Retrieved 2019-01-29.
  4. ^ "#CareerSpotlight: Capri Cafaro, former Democratic member of the Ohio Senate and current Executive in Residence at American University". Women on the Map. Archived from the original on 2019-01-30. Retrieved 2019-01-29.
  5. ^ a b c d "Capri Cafaro, 2012 candidate State Senate 32nd District". The News-Herald. 22 September 2012. Retrieved 2020-10-28.
  6. ^ "A Million Bucks Didn't Buy Much for Free-Spending Candidates". The New York Times. November 6, 2004. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-10-28.
  7. ^ "Who's Next: Capri Cafaro". 2017-08-09. Retrieved 2019-01-29.
  8. ^ "Time to weigh in on the Cafaro issue". Buckeye State Blog. 2006-11-21. Archived from the original on 2012-07-23. Retrieved 2011-02-11.
  9. ^ Kovac, Marc (January 11, 2008). "Columbus Cafaro tapped as assistant minority whip". The Record Hub. Record Publishing Company. Retrieved 2011-02-11.
  10. ^ "State Sen. Capri Cafaro Named Senate Minority Leader". Ohio Daily Blog. 2008-11-13. Archived from the original on 2011-07-28. Retrieved 2011-02-11.
  11. ^ "Senator Cafaro Re-Elected Senate Democratic Leader". ProgressOhio. 2010-11-21. Archived from the original on 2010-12-09. Retrieved 2011-02-11.
  12. ^ Husted, Jon 2012 general election results (2012-11-06)
  13. ^ "Senate Democrats want minimum wage increase, affordable college". Cleveland Plain Dealer. Cleveland. 2015-01-21. Retrieved 2015-01-22.
  14. ^ Siegel, Jim (2015-01-21). "Democrats in Ohio Senate lay out agenda". Columbus Dispatch. Columbus. Retrieved 2015-01-22.
  15. ^ "Senate Democrats outline legislative priorities". Youngstown Vindicator. Youngstown, Ohio. 2015-01-21. Archived from the original on 2015-01-22. Retrieved 2015-01-22.
  16. ^ Skolnick, David. "Three attorneys are running for the 32nd Ohio Senate District seat next year". Retrieved 2019-01-29.