Guzman concedes Aurora, Illinois mayoral race
CHICAGO—The Filipino American mayoral candidate in the second largest city in Illinois graciously conceded the April 4th election with the unoffficial vote count showing his African American opponent edging him with mere 170 votes.
Rick Guzman has 7,404 votes. Incumbent alderman Richard Irvin received 7,574, making him the first African American mayor in the City of Aurora, located 40 miles southwest of Chicago.
According to local press reports, Guzman made the concession early Friday evening of April 7 in an email to supporters, despite his statement on election night that the Aurora and DuPage County election commissions had not yet counted outstanding ballots for him to concede.
He said his campaign was promised information on the number of outstanding ballots within 48 hours of election night by the DuPage and Aurora election commissions. In particular, he said he was assured “that an unknown number of new ballots from DuPage County would be tabulated and posted online by 4:30 p.m.” Friday, April 7.
“Unfortunately, at the end of the week, neither of these events has come to pass,” Guzman said in his email. “However, as I do not wish to be a hindrance to any transition planning, late this afternoon I called Richard Irvin to concede the election and congratulate him on his victory.”
Mayor-elect Irvin called Guzman “a talented and smart guy” and said he thanked Guzman for a good campaign.
“He made me a better candidate,” Irvin said. “Although we disagreed on a lot of things, we both have a commitment to our city.” Irvin added that he now can “make a smooth transition to being the 57th mayor of Aurora.”
Guzman, 39, said he is “at peace” with the outcome and said he felt good to have gotten the support and trust he did and “to have gotten this close.”
“I ran for mayor because I believed that I could make a difference,” he said. “But I also know I don’t have to be mayor to make a difference. That is one of the ways, but by no means the only way.”
Guzman whose Filipino father came to the United States in 1970, urged his supporters to “work collaboratively with one another — and with our new mayor-elect, Richard Irvin.”
There are no fewer than 1,000 Filipino Americans living in Aurora where Guzman worked as assistant chief of staff to the immediate past mayor, Tom Weisner, who endorsed and campaigned for him.
This is Guzman’s first try to run as mayor compared with Irvin’s fourth. The two emerged as the top vote-getters in the February primary where seven vied for the position.
“I still believe that Aurora’s greatest days are close at hand,” Guzman said. “We are a city of rich history, opportunity and cultural diversity unlike nearly anywhere else. Aurora has a unique ability to become a place where everyone is valued, where everyone contributes — and where more and more people want to invest, to work and to live.”
Meanwhile, another Filipino American, Arnulfo Noble, was decisively defeated by the incumbent, 3-1, in the April 4 mayoral derby at Oakbrook Terrace, a small village west of Chicago, where only 500 voters went to the polls.
The election results do not become official until they are canvassed by the Aurora and DuPage County election commissions.
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