Mayoral Candidates Campaign on Last Day of Early Voting - NBC Chicago
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Mayoral Candidates Campaign on Last Day of Early Voting

The election takes place Tuesday, Feb. 24



    Mayoral Candidates Campaign for African-American Vote Days Before Election

    The five candidates for mayor campaigned Saturday, the last day of early voting, vying for the key African-American vote that could determine whether Tuesday's election leads to a runoff. NBC 5's Katie Kim reports. (Published Saturday, Feb. 21, 2015)

    On the last day of early voting, the five mayoral candidates hit the trail, attending events on the West and South Sides vying for the key African-American vote.

    In one of the last meetings before Election Day, the candidates sat down to discuss everything from the city's finances to the presidential library bid. The forum was hosted by the Westside Ministers Coalition. The only candidate who did not attend was Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

    The mayor's four challengers criticized the current administration, but they said they are feeling confident in the final push.

    "It also shows us early voting, Africa-Americans, are coming out maybe two to one, so we feel very good," candidate Willie Wilson said.

    Cook County Commissioner Jesus "Chuy" Garcia, Alderman Bob Fioretti and community activist William "Dock" Walls were also hoping to court the African-American vote Saturday. The three rallied crowds at the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition headquarters on the South Side.

    "I was elected from an African-American ward, so I know the importance is, but the importance is proving who you are," Fioretti said. "I'm surprised when I hear the other candidates who come here and they rewrite history."

    William "Dock" Walls remains hopeful that the polls don't tell the whole story. "There are enough undecided voters, people who weren't telling the truth when they were being polled by others to give us the victory," Walls said.

    Garcia, who will likely go on to challenge Emanuel in the case of a runoff, criticized the mayor's advertisements.

    "Money can't buy an election in Chicago in 2015, no matter how many ads are running on TV. The deciders of this election will be voters," Garcia said.

    Just blocks away from the Rainbow/PUSH headquarters, Mayor Emanuel had lunch with supporters at H-Dog's.

    Polls show Emanuel ahead of the pack, but his challengers say the mayor won't get the votes to win outright on Tuesday to avoid a runoff.

    "This is obviously up to voters. They know the stake in this election is about the future of this city and whether we are going to do things necessary to build a stronger future," Emanuel said.

    Emanuel needs to win 50 percent of the vote plus one on Feb. 24 to avoid a runoff election, which would take place in April.

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