As the race for mayor heads into the final weekend before Tuesday’s vote, the attacks between the candidates are getting sharper.
Mayor Emanuel is described by the national website Politico as bruised, battered and limping to Election Day and his four challengers are certainly firing all they have towards him.
It’s down to the home stretch and Mayor Emanuel, who has more than $30 million campaign dollars, is spending $1.3 million just in the final days.
Emanuel's main target is Cook County Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, and the mayor's also softening his stand on charter school teachers and red light cameras.
Teachers at charter schools like Urban Prep Academy want to organize and they’ve had mayoral candidate Jesus “Chuy” Garcia on their side. But now to some surprise, Mayor Emanuel says that's okay by him as well.
“The teachers at the UNO [Charter] Schools organized so that’s been consistent with the effort they so choose,” Emanuel said.
Garcia, on the other hand, is weary of the mayor’s sudden change of mind on the issue.
“The mayor is changing his tune obviously as much as he can to be in tune with people,” Garcia said. “I'm glad he said that but that's inconsistent with his practices … I’m the man that's trying to bring the coalition together. Elect a new mayor, put the city on a new path that will put ordinary people at the center of governance.”
Garcia is headed to Operation Push on Saturday with the hope of rekindling the legacy of Harold Washington, who became Chicago’s first African-American mayor in 1983. African American voters and whom they choose is crucial this election.
“Harold Washington was a great mayor,” Emanuel said. “He brought hope to the city because he was clear about making fundamental changes."
Ald. Bob Fioretti received the endorsement of the Illinois Transportation Trade Association and candidate Willie Wilson has tapped into those upset with increases in fines and fees, especially those red light camera tickets.
Emanuel, who cast his own vote today in early voting, is promising changes for those red light cameras and has now said he is on board for adding countdown clocks.
And just in case anyone missed President Obama’s support for Emanuel, he appears in the mayor’s final televised ad campaign that was released Friday.
While the mayor wants to avoid a runoff, as the race winds down it’s looking as if it may be a close one.