Cook County Assessor Joe Berrios said the defeat of his daughter, Rep. Maria “Toni” Berrios, to a self-styled reformer in the recent Democratic Statehouse primary isn’t a referendum on what critics call his old-school approach to politics.
“I don’t see it that way,” Berrios, the powerful chair of the county Democratic Party, told the Sun-Times on Thursday, when asked whether Toni Berrios’ landslide loss diminished his political power. […]
Ultimately, Joe Berrios said, Toni Berrios lost the election because of the changing racial makeup of the district — a demographic shift anchored around the hipster-centric neighborhood of Logan Square, which was once a Hispanic stronghold.
“The district completely changed. It went from 64 percent Hispanic down to about 52 percent Hispanic,” Berrios explained. “She worked hard. We did everything we could to win that election and it didn’t come out the way we wanted it to, but, you know, you move on.”
I don’t think Berrios is as “evil” as the Sun-Times and others constantly make him out to be. But there’s no getting around the fact that his family name has been poisoned.
Yes, Will Guzzardi walked precincts non-stop for almost three years. And, yes, the district did change. But smart politicos change with the times and with the districts.
…Adding… From a commenter…
I checked out the recent Democratic primary vote totals for unopposed candidates, like Joe Berrios, who were on the Chicago and Cook County ballots. Nobody had to vote for these candidates, so people were making conscious choices if they voted for some but not for others.
Joe Berrios only got 200,992 votes, far behind Jesse White’s 252,005, Lisa Madigan’s 240,674, and Dick Durbin’s 239,348. Even Mike Frerichs, a non-incumbent from Downstate, got 212,827 votes, almost 12,000 more than Berrios. That’s a lot of dedicated Democrats deciding to skip voting for Berrios. It doesn’t really have any immediate effect, as he still wins office for four more years. But it does show a fair amount of discontent.