President Barack Obama's decision to visit Chicago days before the city election is dominating the mayoral race, and Rahm Emanuel’s critics say its proof the mayor is worried he's headed to a runoff.
Obama is coming to announce that Pullman will be designated a national park, but mayoral challengers question the timing of President Obama just days before the election.
Jesus "Chuy" Garcia told NBC Chicago he believes he knows why Obama is traveling to Chicago just five days before the election.
“I think that people in Chicago, those that represent the status quo are worried,” Garcia said. “They're pulling all the stops, they’re trying to get every endorsement possible and, of course, they must be making lots of promises to raise a lot of people. They're worried, they're scared."
The White House decision to name Pullman a national park was one certainly welcomed by residents nearby. The timing however is questioned by Emanuel's challengers.
Willie Wilson said he believes the president should stay out of the Chicago mayoral race.
“If he's telling the citizens of Chicago that he supports Rahm Emanuel closing public schools, 50 percent of them African American,” Wilson said. “[Is he] saying [he supports] that?"
Likewise Ald. Bob Fioretti noted it is even more surprising that President Obama is coming days before the mayoral election to make this announcement – right now it just looks like politics.
But candidate Dock Walls said he doesn’t think the president will persuade voters.
“We welcome President Obama and we hope that when he gets here people get a chance to explain to him why they’re not going to follow his endorsement and why they’re not going to re-elect Rahm Emanuel,” Walls said.