Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Will Guzzardi Wins 39th District, Bests Berrios

Beats incumbent Toni Berrios

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Former journalist Will Guzzardi, 26, beat 6-term incumbent Maria “Toni” Berrios for legislative control of the 39th district.

Logan Square voted hipster in 2014. 

Former journalist Will Guzzardi, 26, beat 6-term incumbent Maria “Toni” Berrios for legislative control of the 39th district. It was his second try running for the seat, according to projections by the Associated Press. 
 
The district covers parts of Northwest Chicago, including Logan Square, Avondale, Portage Park and Humboldt Park.
 
Berrios, the daughter of Cook County Democratic Party chair, beat Guzzardi in 2012 by fewer than 150 votes.
 
This time around Guzzardi received a big endorsement from several unions because of Berrios' support of the pension overhaul.
 
“The result that we saw here tonight was the result of a movement, a movement that has a long history in this city, a movement that is striving for basic values in justice and fairness and this is a powerful movement in Chicago,” Guzzardi said. “It’s a movement that’s elected aldermen, and it’s elected state representatives, and it’s elected state senators and this is a movement that even once upon a time stood together and elected a mayor in the city of Chicago.”
 
University of Illinois political science professor Dick Simpson told ProgressIllinois.com that this race "indicates the weakening of the political machines" on the Northwest Side of the city.
 
Guzzardi, a Brown University graduate, lives in Logan Square and works in the college admissions office at the University of Chicago. He's told several publications that the name recognition he's gained from the 2012 run and a larger volunteer base would help turn the tide in his favor.
 
Berrios pointed to her record of being a strong voice for her constituents in Springfield as a big reason she should have been chosen to continue representing the 39th District.
 
Not surprising for a race that was so close two years ago, words are flying between the two campaigns.
 
A Berrios citizen's group issued mailers stating Guzzardi doesn't believe dangerous sex offenders should be required to register with local police, but Guzzardi denies that premise, saying the information was taken out of context from an editorial he wrote for his college newspaper when he was a teenager.
 
And while Guzzardi claims his opponent has a record of supporting charter schools, Berrios states on her website that she's "fought for many after school programs and for better wages for teachers."
 
Berrios had significantly more money to work with in her campaign, and Guzzardi relied on grassroots organizing abilities.

Related Topics Guzzardi, Berrios, Chicago, Logan Square
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