Rahm Emanuel Wins as Chicago Mayor
Rahm Emanuel, President Barack Obama's former Chief of Staff, won a clear victory as mayor of Chicago Tuesday night, eliminating the need for a run-off election that many were predicting. Emanuel collected a majority of votes against five opponents in the first Chicago election without a sitting mayor on the ballot since 1947. In a city widely considered to be racially divided, Emanuel received votes across all racial lines, winning in the white North and Northwest sides and in the predominantly African-American South and West Side neighborhoods.
"All I can say, you sure know how to make a guy feel at home," Emanuel told a packed room for his victory party. "Because of the people of Chicago, this is the warmest place in America." Emanuel had been tossed off the ballot briefly in a challenge to his residency, but an appeal to the Illinois Supreme Court put him back on the ticket.
Chicago has a long history of Irish mayors, including current mayor Richard M. Daley, the longest-serving chief executive. However, Emanuel will be the first Jewish mayor, showing that times have changed. Emanuel amassed 55.2 percent of the vote. Runner-up Gery Chico had 24 percent, Miguel del Valle had 9.3 percent and former Senator Carol Moseley Braun had 9 percent. The other candidates had 2.5 percent combined.
Emanuel won 40 of the city's 50 wards, getting more than 70 percent of the heavily populated lakefront wards. He also won more than 50 percent of the vote in the wards with large African-American populations.