From the Huffington Post (read the full thing here):
Jeremy Karpen figures if there was ever a year to do the impossible, this is it.
Karpen is running for state representative in Illinois’ 39th district in Chicago, on the Green Party ticket. If he wins, he’ll be the only state legislator from his party in the nation.
As if those odds weren’t long enough, he’s running against the incumbent representative from the 39th: Maria Antonia “Toni” Berrios, a fourth-term rep who is also the daughter of Cook County Democratic Party chairman and machine power-broker Joe Berrios.
But talking to the easygoing, charmingly optimistic Karpen, you’d never know he was facing such momentous obstacles. In fact, to hear him tell it, this year is a golden opportunity to be Green…
Berrios has over $100,000 in her campaign coffers, donated from pharmaceutical PACs (she’s the chair of the Biotech Committee), downtown lawyers (many of whom lobby her father about property taxes at the Board of Review), and a massive contribution from Joe Berrios himself. Karpen sends email blasts trying to scrounge up enough for his next mailer. As of the end of June, he had a little over $6,000 on hand.
Still, Karpen thinks his underdog status works to his advantage. His campaign claims to have knocked on over 4,500 doors, and Karpen says that Berrios has knocked on none this cycle–though she disputes that claim.
“A lot of people just don’t know who she is,” Karpen says. “When we talk to people about working for the community, that helps them recognize that, look, we need someone who’s actually interested in what’s happening here, who doesn’t just pay lip service to it.”