Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel was severely humbled on Tuesday after Chicagoans failed to give him the necessary percentage of votes to give him a guaranteed four more years in the city’s mayor’s office. To avoid a run-off election, a candidate needed to receive more than 50 percent of the votes, and Emanuel was only able to garner 45 percent. Jesus “Chuy” Garcia managed to come in second place in the five-man race with an impressive 34 percent against Emanuel, according to the Chicago Tribune on Tuesday night. As a result, Emanuel and Garcia will face off in seven weeks in the run-off Chicago mayoral election.
Garcia, the Cook County Commissioner was the top vote-getting contender running against Emanuel. The other candidates were Bob Fioretti who is a Chicago alderman, Willie Wilson who is a Chicago businessman, and frequent-runner Willie Wilson who is also a businessman. In spite of Emanuel’s appearances by President Barack Obama, millions of dollars in campaign advertising funds, and great efforts to repeat a win on the first ballot, the Chicago mayor failed to capture the popularity he had four years ago. The first time he ran for mayor, he received 55 percent of the vote on the first ballot and won without a run-off. This time, he had 10 percent less of Chicagoans’ votes on the first ballot, according to WGN. Garcia apparently did the best job of highlighting Emanuel’s apparent shortcomings and getting the citizens of the Windy City to vote for him.
The issues that stilted Emanuel’s successful run on the first ballot are the schools’ issues in Chicago. Very unpopular with his decision last year, Emanuel closed some-50 schools, a move of which minority neighborhoods were incredibly displeased. Additionally, Chicagoans are very discontent with Emanuel’s continued “money grabs” on the citizenry which includes Chicago’s red light camera program and Emanuel’s new speed camera program. Both programs have become extremely controversial and costly to Chicagoans – many of those Chicagoans wanting to see Emanuel and his programs gone.
Undoubtedly, the election results are a slap in the face to Emanuel, Obama, and all the other big names in Chicago politics who tried so hard to get Emanuel elected on the first ballot again. If the Chicagoans who voted for a contender other than the incumbent, Emanuel, still decide to vote against Emanuel in seven weeks, Chicago will have a new mayor. Pundits say that Garcia is becoming more and more vivacious and, thereby, more popular as the campaign continues while Emanuel remains majorly disliked by a good number of his constituents.