Chicago Police

Bob Zwolinski Loses Illinois House Race Following Staple Gun Attack

Incumbent Cynthia Soto held off challenger Zwolinski amid reports of an attack carried out by her campaign workers

Bob Zwolinski, who was allegedly the victim of a vicious staple gun attack earlier this month, lost to incumbent Rep. Cynthia Soto Tuesday in the race for her 4th District Illinois House seat.

Soto led Zwolinski in votes, 12,575 to 3,133, with 71 of 103 precincts reporting.

Zwolinski told Ward Room that he expected a much closer race.

"I never saw the amount of votes that were going to go her way,” Zwolinski said.
“Our polls indicated a lot closer race.”

Earlier this month, Zwolinski says he pulled up to his offices in the 800 block of North Ashland Avenue to see a man and a woman from Soto's campaign stapling posters to a building he'd rented.

When the pair was asked to stop, Zwolinski said the conversation took an ugly turn. He recalled being kicked, choked, and hit on the head with a beer bottle.

Bloody and beaten, Zwolinski said the woman took the staple gun she had been using to plaster the signage on his building to put a staple into his head.

Zwolinski’s girlfriend, who also works on his campaign, was in the car at the time.

“The female approached the car and yanked open the door and threatened me to get out of the car with a staple gun,” she said.

A passerby called 911 after seeing the events unfold.

Zwolinski filed a police report after the attack, but Chicago police say a 26-year-old man filed a counter report, claiming the candidate had ripped their signs down and attacked first. Zwolinski denies those accusations.

No Republicans appeared on the ballot, so Soto scored a decisive victory Tuesday, retaining her seat in the Illinois House. She has served as the State Representative for Illinois' 4th District since 2000.

Zwolinski told Ward Room that he plans to mount another campaign for Soto’s House seat in two years, when her upcoming term expires. 

The Soto camp did not immediately respond to Ward Room's request for comment.

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