CHICAGO - Democratic challenger Will Guzzardi is pushing hard to oust State Rep. Toni Berrios, whose father is the powerful Cook County Assessor and Cook County Democrat Party Chairman Joe Berrios.
In 2012, Guzzardi came within 126 votes of beating Berrios. This cycle may be even tougher for her.
She's been abandoned by the leader of the Democratic Latino Caucus. State Sen. Will Delgado endorsed Guzzardi, stating: "Latino voters in the 39th District have been shortchanged for more than a decade with representation that is disengaged from the community. Will Guzzardi will be a more effective voice for the needs of the Latino community."
Unhappy with the pension deal House Speaker Mike Madigan pushed through last session, public sector unions, nurses and teachers unions are lining up behind Guzzardi as well.
For his part, Guzzardi is taking aim at the Berrios political dynasty (see Guzzardi video HERE), and has comments on his Facebook page that read: "The incumbent can never speak to the public because she's 'unavailable.' Then she reads when she's given the green light to speak publicly. On Chicago Tonight, her daddy speaks for her. The honest truth- Joe Berrios IS the current representative! This is HIS seat and his kid can't make a move without him. What an em'berrios'ment!"
The attacks have pushed Berrios to circulate campaign mailers that suggest Guzzardi tolerates child molesters. And records show that 'Friends of Mike Madigan' and the 'House Democratic Majority' are spending thousands on mailings and campaign staff for Berrios (see below).