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In Chicago, it’s not how many votes you get. It’s who counts them.

April 9, 2012

Chicago Machine Boss Berrios.

Chicago politics ain’t mumbly peg Mayor Washington used to say.

If you’re taking on the powerful Chicago Democratic Machine, that goes double.

Cook County Democratic Chair Joe Berrios is the very embodiment of The Machine.

That is what Will Guzzardi decided to take on when he announced he would run for state house of representatives against Toni Berrios, the incumbent and daughter of Joe.

Nobody gave him a chance.

Weeks after the election, Will trails Berrios by 1.6% of the vote.

Will had decided he is not Al Gore.

CHICAGO (April 9, 2012) — Progressive Democratic candidate Will Guzzardi plans to pursue a recount in his campaign to unseat entrenched incumbent Maria Antonia “Toni” Berrios in Illinois’ 39th State Representative District on Monday, noting that he now trails Berrios by only 125 votes, or 1.6%.

Guzzardi, 24, a Logan Square resident and former journalist, declined to concede the race on the night of the election, March 20, at which point he was down only 72 votes with a precinct still to be counted.

“We are committed to ensuring that every single vote is counted accurately,” said Guzzardi. “At the end of the recount process, we may have won, or we may fall short. But we owe it to the people of this district who showed up to vote to make sure their voices are fully heard.”

The Guzzardi camp noted that it received numerous reports of possible indiscretion or inconsistencies at polling places on Election Day and during early voting.

“Our volunteers reported a lot of irregularities, particularly in the areas of the district with a strong Machine presence,” said Guzzardi campaign manager Rebecca Reynolds. “The voters deserve better. Pursuing a recount is one way for us to join together to ensure democratic accountability in our communities.”

Guzzardi beat Berrios in 5 of the 7 wards that encompass the 39th District. At first count, he lost only the 31st and 30th wards.

Guzzardi has run a campaign based on a progressive platform. He has called for full marriage equality and stronger public education, and has criticized Berrios for her vote to pass a tax break for the Chicago Mercantile Exchange in late 2011.

For more information or to schedule interviews, contact the Guzzardi campaign at 773-270-1382.

So, for the time being our “Will Guzzardi” sign stays in the front window.

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