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After Staple Gun Attack, Zwolinski Loses To Soto By Landslide

By Alisa Hauser | March 15, 2016 9:23pm | Updated on March 15, 2016 10:07pm
 Candidate Bob Zwolinski and Rep. Cynthia Soto (D-Chicago) in the state's 4th District hit the streets campaigning on Tuesday.
Bob Zwolinski, Cynthia Soto
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WEST TOWN — Rep. Cynthia Soto will continue to helm the state's 4th District after easily beating challenger Bob Zwolinski on Tuesday night by nearly a 4-1 margin.

With 22,528 ballots counted, incumbent Soto (D-Chicago) had 17,934 votes (79.61 percent) compared to Zwolinski's 4,594 votes (20.39 percent).

“It’s nice numbers, we can feel pretty confident," said Greg Jackson, a campaign spokesman for Soto. "[Soto] is thrilled she can go back and serve another two years."

Conceding to Soto, Zwolinski said via text message: "The community has to unfortunately wait two more years for real change and not a just puppet for the machine. It’s a shame because we all suffer. But time flies.”


Courting last-minute voters on opposite sides of Wicker Park's namesake park, 1425 N. Damen Ave., before the polls closed on Tuesday, Soto and Zwolinski did not cross paths, but the heat between the two candidates was palpable following a Chicago Police Department investigation involving Zwolinski and two of Soto's volunteers.

Earlier this month, Zwolinski claimed to have been attacked by volunteers putting up posters for Soto in an incident that a lawyer for the unpaid campaign workers described as "a media stunt."

First elected in 2001, Soto is a Democratic member of the Illinois House of Representatives, representing the 4th District, which includes parts of Ukrainian Village, Bucktown, Humboldt Park, Logan Square, West Town and Wicker Park.

Zwolinski, a Ukrainian Village resident and Democrat, helped to co-found the Wells High School Rugby Club in 2014 and works as a sales director, according to his campaign website. Zwolinski told DNAinfo Chicago on Tuesday that he prefers to keep the name of his employer private.

Officer Kevin Quaid, a Chicago Police spokesman, said Tuesday that two reports were filed after the incident, one by Zwolinski and another by the two workers for Soto, who say they were attacked by Zwolinski.

"It is still an ongoing investigation,' Quaid said.

Zwolinski and Soto both said Tuesday that no surveillance video is available from the incident because old cameras attached to the building were not turned on. Soto declined to talk further about it, citing the fact that both of her workers who say they were attacked by Zwolinski are being represented by a lawyer. Zwolinski referred all inquiries to his lawyer.

David Zwolinski, who was helping out with his son's campaign Tuesday, said the younger Zwolinski "wants to move forward" and is waiting for the results of the police investigation before possibly pressing charges against the alleged attackers.

"He was violently injured; he's a tough kid. He's my son," Zwolinski said. 

Anthony Gentile, a campaign worker for Soto who was standing outside of a polling spot at Wells High School, 936 N. Ashland Ave., agreed that Soto is not often in the limelight, and the recent incident with the alleged staple gun attack put her there.

"It [the alleged incident] has impacted the campaign. She stays under the radar from nonsense. She is working hard for the people, always," Gentile said.

Gentile said Soto has helped some of his neighbors with immigration issues and with helping a mom he knows with getting a parking permit to more easily transport her child who has physical challenges.

For voter Greg Sato, a Ukrainian Village resident, the violent incident caused him to be concerned.

"I tried to read as much as possible about it, to come to a conclusion, but I couldn't. I wasn't really sure what happened," Sato said.

Sato declined to reveal which of the two candidates got his vote after leaving a polling spot at Columbus Elementary School.

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