Guzzardi concedes 39th District state primary race to Berrios

Guzzardi concedes 39th District state primary race to Berrios

Over a month after the March 20 primary, and a few weeks after a partial recount was conducted, Will Guzzardi announced he is conceding the 39th District state rep. primary race to incumbent Toni Berrios.

Guzzardi said that although there is still evidence of “inconsistencies” that occurred in the Northwest Side district on Election Day, he was conceding, following the advice of his lawyer.

“Our attorney has indicated that it is probably not enough to sustain a formal legal complaint in court,” Guzzardi said in the press release Tuesday morning, entitled “The Fight Ahead”.

What’s more, Monday at 5 p.m. was the deadline to challenge the results of the primary in the Circuit Court of Cook County.

For weeks, Guzzardi’s camp said it believed that several Berrios supporters were behind “inconsistencies“–legally questionable activity at certain polling places–that occurred on Election Day.

That, and the small margin of votes–125–that separated the two candidates, catalyzed Guzzardi to announce a partial recount and discovery canvas last month.

He still came up short, though.

It’s likely that Guzzardi’s team had seen the writing on the wall for some time.

His spokesperson Rebecca Reynolds told The Chicago Reporter last week–after the recount was complete and Guzzardi had only grabbed a few extra votes–that the campaign’s efforts were aimed, above all, at ensuring the “integrity” of the process.

“I hope the result of this election serves as a reminder to all of us that no matter how dysfunctional our government may seem, it is never immune to the will of the people. We can always make our voices heard,” Guzzardi said, in the press release. “If we are firm in our convictions, and willing to fight for them, then no opponent is too powerful, no machine is invulnerable.”

Guzzardi’s scrappy, reformist rhetoric appealed largely to progressives and independents, while Berrios–the daughter of Cook County Democratic boss Joe Berrios–leaned heavily on the party establishment for her relatively close victory.

Berrios was, however, backed by Equality Illinois, the state’s largest and oldest LGBT advocacy group. And Planned Parenthood donated to her campaign.

But most of the $142,807 she took in–just from Jan 1-March 31–came from party politicians and clout-heavy labor groups.

In the same period, Guzzardi–whom a Berrios supporter once called a “rich, white buddy” of progressives–raised $44,155. Most of that money came in small donations ranging from $25 to a few hundred dollars.

Looking forward, Guzzardi’s press release described the”fight ahead” as such:  “I’ll be spending my time continuing to work and organize right here in our neighborhood. While the election is over, the fight for progress in our neighborhoods–for better schools and safer streets, for smart economic development and honest government–is as urgent as ever. I urge you to join me in continuing that fight.”

© Community Renewal Society 2012


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