Mayor Rahm Emanuel is pouring nearly $1 million into television ads for the final week of the campaign, but challengers predict it’s headed to an April runoff.
Mayor Emanuel’s voice was raspy – likely from campaigning – when he spoke emotionally at Ald. JoAnn Thompson’s funeral Monday, crediting her with a turnaround in Englewood. She was one of the first supporters of a new Whole Foods that will open next year.
“When we cut that ribbon on the Whole Foods there will be a palpable sense that something's missing,” Emanuel said. “It's incomplete without the person who did so much to make it happen."
As for Cook County Commissioner Jesus "Chuy" Garcia, who ranks second in the polls, he met with seniors on the city’s South Side Monday.
“The next week will be critical,” Garcia said. “I believe we are headed to a runoff.”
Emanuel’s campaign events are often unscheduled, according to his spokesman, but in this final week before the Feb. 24 election Aldertrack reports Emanuel is spending $926,000 in TV advertisements.
The other challengers – Willie Wilson, Bob Fioretti and William Dock Walls – will speak to voters at a mayoral forum in Portage Park Monday night. Emanuel is not attending
The mayor did not take any questions at his speaking engagement Monday, but the Garcia campaign says this weekend the Emanuel campaign tracker attended Garcia’s events to record his events and even followed him at the Equality Illinois Gala.
As for the mayor’s campaign events, while the media was not told where he would be to meet voters, reporters later received photos taken by his staff. He has not taken questions from reporters since Feb. 5.
The mayor needs 50 percent plus one to avoid a runoff and his closest challenger Jesus “Chuy” Garcia says momentum is on his side.
“He will not be able to reach 50 percent plus one, our numbers are growing,” Garcia said. “As people come off of those debates they’re deciding, they're now focused on the race and they know there's a clear alternative."