LOGAN SQUARE — "This was a David and Goliath fight from Day 1,” State Rep. Will Guzzardi (39th) told DNAinfo Chicago moments after defeated mayoral candidate Jesus "Chuy" Garcia finished addressing his supporters Tuesday night.
Garcia conceded the city’s first runoff election to Mayor Rahm Emanuel shortly before 9 p.m. but not without support from dozens of influential backers, including two of Logan Square’s most prominent politicians.
Guzzardi and incoming 35th Ward Ald. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa did more than just back Garcia with rhetoric — the local leaders pledged support by dropping off lunch for election judges Tuesday afternoon in addition to knocking on doors and calling constituents directly throughout the mayoral election.
"Win or lose I'm proud of what we've done,” Ramirez-Rosa said shortly before Garcia’s concession speech to the large crowd gathered at the UIC Forum, 725 W. Roosevelt Road — and shortly after a procession of local musicians lit up the stage with blues, folk, hip hip and brass band sets.
“We've knocked on over 250,000 doors, so whatever the result, we're building a coalition of people who want leadership that prioritizes working families,” he added. “Whether Chuy won or lost we're going to continue building that team."
Garcia officially conceded his loss seconds later as his vote tally settled at 44 percent of the vote to Emanuel’s 56 percent, but Ramirez-Rosa’s persevering sentiment was echoed by Guzzardi, a Logan Square resident, and others throughout the night.
Both Guzzardi and Ramirez-Rosa can be said to have been swept in on a progressive wave that both candidates have referred to as a growing movement in Chicago politics. Guzzardi handily beat former State Rep. Toni Berrios in March 2014 despite her family connections in Illinois politics and Ramirez-Rosa came seemingly out of nowhere to defeat former Logan Square Ald. Rey Colon in every single 35th Ward precinct in February.
As in the February election, the Northwest Side, including Logan Square's 26th, 35th and 1st wards, came out strongly in favor of Garcia — each at more than 50 percent of the total ward vote, according to a DNAinfo Chicago analysis of elections board data.
“We have so much to be proud of in this race,” Guzzardi said before Garcia was followed by family and friends into a nearby waiting room. “This was a guy going up against the most enormous advantages … the only story that tells is the story of a movement steadily growing.”
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