Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

'Kickoff To the Runoff': Chico

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'Kickoff To the Runoff': Chico
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Run-Off Chances and Voter Fraud Warning

Thom Serafin, political consultant, talks about the possibility of a run-off in the Chicago Mayoral race and a warning against free massages for votes.

Chico Predicts a Runoff

The mayoral candidate says victory will come on April 5.
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Gery Chico hopped on the CTA Monday, taking his campaign citywide in its last 24 hours.

And lest anyone mistake his intentions, Chico clearly was campaigning to come in a firm second, hoping to force a new contest against Rahm Emanuel with the decks cleared in a much smaller field.

“We’re working hard to win the election,” he said.  “And the date circled on our calendar is April 5.”

The Chico campaign even dubbed their eleventh hour push the “kickoff to the runoff,” hoping to pull the rug from beneath Emanuel’s veneer of inevitability.

“We don’t believe the polls,” the candidate said, riding an El train between 95th Street and Chinatown. “We believe in what the people are going to do tomorrow.”

And he said he is not concerned that predictions of marginal weather on Election Day might keep his voters from casting their ballots.

“Not if you have an organization,” he said. “We have an organization that’s ready to go. We hope to have a couple of thousand people on the streets, in the precincts, getting the voters out.”

Chico told voters at a CTA station that he is running because the “status quo needs to be wrestled to the ground.” Reminded by a reporter that he has been closely aligned throughout his career to the chief of that status quo, Mayor Daley, he suggested he is still attempting to define a new era.

“I still consider him my friend, but that doesn’t mean this is working for the people in the City of Chicago,” he said. “We lost 200,000 people over the last 10 years. What happened? People are not happy with their schools right now. People are demanding change.”

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