In the race for mayor, Rahm Emanuel's challengers say despite his massive fundraising advantage they believe he's headed to an April runoff.
It's routine for campaigns to publish the candidates schedule, however, that's not always the case with Mayor Emanuel, and Friday was one was one of those days, with the mayor leaving through a back door to avoid NBC Chicago’s camera.
Friday’s Latino Policy Form attracted all five mayoral candidates, who spoke one at a time. Emanuel was the first to speak.
“This election is not about the next four years, it's about the next generation,” Emanuel said.
Neither Mayor Emanuel nor his press secretary would answer reporters’ questions after the appearance, shielding his face as he rushed out the back door.
“I think the mayor is afraid,” Jesus “Chuy” Garcia said. “I think the mayor feels great uncertainty that the tide has turned in the city of Chicago and that the prepared talking points aren't enough."
The mayoral challengers are asking for more debates before the Feb. 24 election.
“Maybe one or two to talk about the real issues instead of the sound bites that we hear out of the mayor,” Bob Fioretti said.
The mayor's campaign war chest is now at more than $30 million, a record-breaking budget in a Chicago mayoral race.
“I think it's a moral issue that…Mayor Emanuel takes $30 million in contributions,” said contender Willie Wilson. “I think he sold out.”
Emanuel on the other hand, fires right back.
“When I ran for office businesses, families and jobs were fleeing the city of Chicago,” Emanuel said. “The promise I made if we do the necessary things is so jobs, families, and businesses would come back to the city of Chicago."