Tuesday was primary day in Illinois, and the hottest race in Chicago was for state representative in the 39 rep. district.
The incumbent is Toni Berrios, daughter of Joe Berrios, chair of the Cook County Democratic party, County Assessor, and epitome of the Chicago Machine.
The next representative will be Will Guzzardi, a true progressive and a man who rallied local community activists and Chicago political progressives into an army of canvassers. Among the progressive activists who rallied for Will was NDFA. Guzzardi mentioned us in his menu of thanks.
(I knocked on a door last Saturday, and the woman who answered said, "We already got a phone call from you people this morning.")
Will had lost the primary two years ago by 125 votes. Despite all the plus voters the campaign had on their lists, our expectation was of an election nearly that close again. Instead it was a blow-out. I closed a poll and stayed around headquarters explaining a machine (a literal voting machine) foul-up. When I got to the victory party, nearly the first thing I heard was the announcement that Berrios had conceded.
Enough of those plus voters did turn out -- or voted early.
This district doesn't even touch the lakefront. It is what is generally assumed to be machine turf. If progressives can win here, the right progressive can win almost anywhere in Chicago. There will, of course, be a general election, but nobody filed to run in the Republican primary. Chicago is a fine spot for raising Republican money, but it doesn't provide many Republican votes.