Mayor Rahm Emanuel and rival Jesus "Chuy" Garcia kicked off part two of the campaign early Wednesday morning, heading out to greet voters just hours after election results sparked an unprecedented runoff.
Emanuel, who fell short of the 50-percent-plus-one support he needed to win a second term outright in Tuesday's municipal election, tweeted a photo of himself, coffee in hand, greeting voters at the 95th Street Red Line stop.
"It's a warm reception after the election but my goal is to earn people's support," Emanuel told WVON after his appearance. "And I did it this morning and I'm going to continue to be throughout the city at every L stop, grocery store and meet the voters and talking to them about the choices we have to make and do you have the plan and perseverance to make progress in this city throughout every neighborhood."
Garcia, meanwhile, told reporters that he was feeling good as he started the day at the Brown Line Merchandise Mart stop.
"All along we had said that people in Chicago, especially neighborhoods, wanted change," he told NBC 5 in an interview. "They felt left behind, they felt like special interests had had their way for too long and they had something to say and they said it yesterday,"
He said he looks forward to continuing his campaign to connect with a diverse cross-section of Chicago voters.
"We campaigned throughout the city of Chicago that we truly embraced the multi-racial, multi-ethnic type of coalition that's required to effectively govern and include everyone in the city of Chicago," he said.
While Emanuel lead by double digits in the polls on Tuesday, the runoff result was seen as a victory for Garcia and the Chicago Teachers Union and progressives that backed his bid against the powerful incumbent. Emanuel, a former congressman and White House chief of staff, spent millions on his bid to win a second term as the mayor of the nation's third most populous city, blanketing the airwaves and calling on President Barack Obama for help on the campaign trail.
But those efforts failed to give him the boost he needed to win over enough voters to secure a second term while avoiding going head-to-head against Garcia in a second round of balloting. The April 7 election will mark the first time since the city changed its election process in the 1990s that an incumbent mayor has been forced into a runoff race.