Grass roots’ effort comes up just a little short against Big Money and the Machine. UPDATE.

Razor thin results for two progressives.

UPDATE: A note from Will Guzzardi this morning confirms that they are still counting votes in the 39th house district race between  Will and Machine candidate Toni Berrios. Good luck, Will!

While the national media were focused on the Republican presidential primary yesterday, many Chicago area teachers like me were watching the returns in two state house races. It is in the state house where the future of our pensions and school reform issues will play out.

Most pundits early on predicted a major defeat for Will Guzzardi in his fight to unseat the daughter of powerful Democratic Machine Boss, Joe Berrios. But a grass-roots effort and the support of all the teacher unions brought him within about 70 votes of doing just that.

Berrios spent thousands on robo-calls, push polls and bullshit negative ads. Guzzardi’s volunteers had their work cut out for them. As of this morning the result is still too close to call.

Barely more than a hundred votes separated Rudy Lozano from the Stand For Children-backed candidate in the 21st House District.

I’m not a fan of what some call moral victories. But Big Money and the Machine got a scare last night.

One wonders what the two IEA-backed candidates might have done if IEA members in their districts actually had a way of working together?

Maybe Tim Crawford can tell us.

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