State Sen. Willie Delgado today formally announced his endorsement of Will Guzzardi, a progressive who is running to unseat 12-year incumbent State Rep. Maria Antonia “Toni” Berrios in the March 18 Democratic primary in the 39th District.
“Will Guzzardi will be a more effective voice for the needs of the Latino community,” said Sen. Delgado. “Latino voters in the 39th District have been shortchanged for more than a decade with representation that is disengaged from the community. I support Will because I know he will fight alongside me in Springfield to increase education funding, to support sorely needed public health and safety initiatives, and to prevent the theft of constitutionally guaranteed pensions to our public employees here in Chicago.”
Delgado has been a leading voice in the Puerto Rican community for decades. Elected to the State House in 1998, the former probation and parole officer replaced his mentor, Illinois’ first Latino legislator Miguel del Valle, in the State Senate in 2006.
“I am humbled to have the support of Sen. Delgado, a progressive champion and a fearless advocate for his community,” said Guzzardi. “I look forward to working as a partner with him in Springfield to pass public policy that will lift up the families of the 39th District and beyond.”
Delgado joins Ald. Proco “Joe” Moreno (1) and other leaders from the Latino community who have rejected the powerful and entrenched Berrios machine to support Guzzardi’s progressive candidacy.
Guzzardi has also been endorsed by Ald. Scott Waguespack (32), Ald. John Arena (45), the Illinois Education Association, the Illinois Federation of Teachers and the Chicago Teachers Union, among others.
In 2012, Guzzardi came within 125 votes of unseating Berrios in the Democratic primary.