Photo by Diane S.W. Lee
Southlake resident to represent House 98th District
After an unsuccessful go at the District 98 House seat in 2010, Southlake resident Giovanni Capriglione defeated seven-term state Rep. Vicki Truitt in May’s Republican primary with more than 55 percent of the vote, and he will run unopposed on the November ballot. Capriglione, who often goes by simply “Gio,” campaigned on increasing government transparency and improving the state’s business climate and public education finance system. His platform also included a commitment to never raise taxes, to tighten border security along Mexico, and to support pro-life policies and Second Amendment rights. He credits his win to taking his message directly to the voters, visiting nearly 7,000 homes between Haslet and Grapevine before this year’s primary.
“I have been in every single neighborhood,” Capriglione said. “I would send letters ahead of time telling people I was coming to their house, [and] I’d show up within 72 hours. Rain, snow, sleet — it doesn’t matter. I told people I was coming, and so I did.”
As the owner of Texas Adventure Capital LLC, Capriglione manages investments for Texas-based small businesses. He lives in Southlake with his wife, Elisa, and three daughters, Cristina, Helen and Natalie.
You were unsuccessful in your previous run. What do you think contributed to your win this time?
A lot of people say the second time is a charm. People are very busy, especially in our community; it is hard to say, ‘Everyone come to me and listen to me talk, and I’ll give you a five minute canned speech and I’ll take a couple of questions.’ And so what I decided to do was the opposite: I’ll come to you, literally. It provided them an opportunity to ask me anything with absolutely no moderation. I wrote everything down, every concern, every issue … so that when I go down to Austin, I have a list of what is important to people. I think that was a big reason for my success.
What were your constituents’ concerns?
Illegal immigration is one of the top concerns for people in this area. Making sure that we are protecting the sanctity of life from birth all the way to natural death. Education finance is a major concern for those of us in the area that have seen so much change in the budgets of our district. In a nutshell, people want limited government, they want lower taxes and they want more freedom.
I would say one other issue is jobs and the economy. When I ran two years ago, I did some door-to-door … and there were a lot less people home. It is unfortunate that we do have a lot of people in our district that are either unemployed or underemployed.
How does your business background translate to being a state representative?
One of the things that people really want to see in political leaders is someone that has been able to manage dollars.
Myself, I don’t get paid unless I am successful at what I do. Also, when you run your own small business, you are constantly doing things; there is no 9-to-5 in a small business. I think that translates well into politics.
- Bachelor of Science in physics, Worcester Polytechnic Institute
- Master of Business Administration in finance, Santa Clara University
- At-large board member, Carroll Education Foundation
- President, Cross Timber Hills Homeowners Association, Inc.
- Member, National Rifle Association
- Vice president, Tarrant Republican Club
State House District 98 covers a majority of Northeast Tarrant County from Haslet to Grapevine.