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Rahm Emanuel Faces Chicago's First Runoff for Mayor

He fails to win 50% of the vote needed to secure 2nd term
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 25, 2015 1:03 AM CST
Rahm Emanuel Faces Chicago's First Runoff Election
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel pauses as he talks to supporters after he was unable to get a majority vote in the Chicago mayoral election, forcing a runoff election in April, Feb. 24, 2015, in Chicago.   (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

(Newser) – Chicago will hold its very first mayoral runoff election, because incumbent Rahm Emanuel failed to win the 50% of the vote that he needed in yesterday's election to secure a second term. He got just 45.4%, and Cook County Commissioner Jesus "Chuy" Garcia got 33.9%; they'll face off on April 7. How it's being framed:

  • The Chicago Tribune notes that Emanuel suffered "a national political embarrassment," calling Garcia "little-known" and "lesser-funded." It notes Emanuel's problems with voters: his closure of 50 schools and "standoff" with teachers during a strike in 2012 (their first in a quarter-century, USA Today notes), plus his "struggles" to decrease violent crime.

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  • Reuters calls it a "surprise result," noting that Emanuel "hugely outspent" his four opponents and had support from VIPs involved in everything from Hollywood to hedge funds—the president even backed him, and visited the city last week.
  • In fact, the result is "disappointing" for Obama, who recorded radio ads for his former chief of staff and even appeared in one of Emanuel's TV ads, Politico says, but notes that "there is nothing to suggest that Obama is at fault for Emanuel’s showing." Politico also says Emanuel will "start as the heavy favorite" in the runoff campaign.
(Read more Rahm Emanuel stories.)

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