Rahm Emanuel Wins Again | NBC Chicago
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Rahm Emanuel Wins Again

With 98 percent of precincts reporting, Rahm Emanuel had 56 percent of the vote to Jesus "Chuy" Garcia's 44 percent

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Rahm Emanuel won his re-election contest Tuesday night and bested challenger Jesus “Chuy” Garcia to remain in charge of Chicago for another four years. (Published Tuesday, April 7, 2015)

    It always seemed inevitable that he’d win. That was the point.

    Rahm Emanuel won his re-election contest Tuesday night and bested challenger Jesus “Chuy” Garcia to remain in charge of Chicago for another four years, the Associated Press projects.

    “I have had the good fortune to serve two presidents, being elected to congress, but being mayor of the city of Chicago is the greatest job I’ve ever had," Emanuel told supporters. "I’m humbled at the opportunity to serve you, the greatest city, for the next 4 years."

    The acerbic mayor overcame questions about his personal style and fended off opposition from the Chicago Teachers Union and the Service Employees International Union who backed his opponent, to win back the job of running city hall.

    Garcia's Concession Speech

    [CHI] WATCH: Jesus "Chuy" Garcia's Concession Speech
    “We didn’t lose today, we tried today,” mayoral challenger Jesus “Chuy” Garcia said as he conceded the race to incumbent Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Tuesday night. (Published Tuesday, April 7, 2015)

    It wasn’t easy for a mayor who’s used to getting his way. Emanuel expected to cruise to victory in a February primary where he took on a weak field of challengers. But the self-confident political operative, who’s served in Congress and in two White House administrations, ran into trouble.

    Garcia, the handpicked candidate of the Chicago Teachers Union, shocked the political system and thrilled progressives when he forced Emanuel into the city’s first ever runoff election for mayor.

    Emanuel was left vulnerable after a tenure that saw him clash with teachers over a contract dispute that led to a strike, close 50 schools in mostly black neighborhoods, preside over a wave of violent crime on the south and west sides, and install a series of questionable red light cameras around the city, among other autocratic decisions.

    But his opponent, who turned in an impressive result on primary night, was not able to turn Emanuel’s weaknesses into an electoral victory. Garcia often punted on opportunities to outline a specific plan for helping the city through its myriad fiscal woes and ran a campaign whose central theme was “I’m not Rahm.”

    Mayoral Race Becomes More Heated Two Days Before Election

    [CHI] Mayoral Race Becomes More Heated Two Days Before Election
    The mayoral race has become increasingly heated as the April 7 election approaches. Steve Edwards, the executive director of the Institute of Politics at the University of Chicago, joins NBC 5 to discuss the latest in the race. (Published Sunday, April 5, 2015)

    Emanuel, who relied on a nearly $30 million war chest to run advertisements during the campaign, may not have offered many more fiscal specifics than Garcia. But his attack ads painted the challenger as completely unprepared for the job of managing a multi-billion dollar budget. The image stuck and Chuy’s reliance wait-and-see-ideas (he said he’d form a commission to look at the city’s finances after the election) didn’t help define him as a candidate that could cross the hurdle of preparedness.

    It turns out voters favored the bully who talked the talk instead of the good guy who didn’t say much.

    Mayoral Candidates Rally Voters in Last Day of Early Voting

    [CHI] Mayoral Candidates Rally Voters in Last Day of Early Voting
    Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Jesus "Chuy" Garcia rallied voters around the city Saturday in the last day of early voting before Tuesday's election. NBC 5's Trina Orlando reports. (Published Saturday, April 4, 2015)

    "We are the city that works, and that means it has to work for everyone in every neighborhood. The decisions we make in four years will determine what Chicago will look like in the next 40 years," Emanuel said in his victory speech.

    But Emanuel’s victory brings with it some questions and some challenges because the man who earned the nickname Rahmbo continues to have an image problem.

    Rahm, Chuy Cast Early Ballots

    [CHI] Rahm, Chuy Cast Early Ballots
    Cook County Commissioner Jesus "Chuy" Garcia and Mayor Rahm Emanuel both cast ballots at about 9 a.m. Thursday. NBC Chicago's Mary Ann Ahern reports. (Published Thursday, April 2, 2015)

    And while a majority of voters cast their ballot for Emanuel, the may have held their nose voting. Emanuel remains a deeply disliked individual. He even acknowledged his testy personality in an on-air advertisement that saw him own up to his reputation as a hard-charging jerk.

    Will he try to hang on to the softer side of Rahm? Can the mayor swallow his pride when dealing with a cadre of individuals and organizations that endorsed his challenger or will he stick it to them, dead fish style? Put another way: Will Rahm play nice in his second go around?

    Emanuel and Garcia Engage in Final Debate

    [CHI] Emanuel and Garcia Engage in Final Debate
    Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and his challenger in next week's runoff election, Cook County Commissioner Jesus "Chuy" Garcia, engaged in their final debate before voters head to polls. NBC Chicago's political reporter Mary Ann Ahern has the latest. (Published Wednesday, April 1, 2015)

    That’s not so inevitable.


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