Mayoral Candidates Campaign Hard as Race Tightens - NBC Chicago
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Mayoral Candidates Campaign Hard as Race Tightens

Mayor Rahm Emanuel needs at least 50 percent of the vote plus one in Tuesday's election to avoid a runoff



    Mayoral Candidates Campaign in Last Days Before Election

    The five mayoral candidates spent the day campaigning Sunday just ahead of Tuesday's election. NBC 5's Mary Ann Ahern reports. (Published Sunday, Feb. 22, 2015)

    Campaign volunteers have been knocking on doors and making phone calls for the final push in Tuesday's election, but for Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Tuesday may not be the end of the race.

    In the mayor's race, second place usually doesn't count, but if Emanuel does not get 50 percent of the vote plus one, he will face a runoff election in April. As poll numbers show the race tightening, the mayor is out campaigning hard in the final days before Tuesday's election.

    The mayor -- along with Governor Bruce Rauner and mayoral candidate Jesus "Chuy" Garcia -- attended the Chinese New Year parade Sunday on the campaign trail.

    Garcia said he predicts a runoff election, but he could be missing some key support to get it there. Garcia is Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle's floor leader, but Preckwinkle has not endorsed a mayoral candidate.

    "I said I wouldn't be involved in this race, and I haven't been," Preckwinkle said.

    Garcia is the main target of Emanuel's negative mailers and television advertisements, but the mayor won't talk strategy.

    "I'm very proud we have a great ad with the newspaper endorsements that are out there," Mayor Emanuel said.

    The other three mayoral candidates -- Bob Fioretti, Willie Wilson and William "Dock" Walls -- also spent the day campaigning Sunday.

    Wilson, who has spent $2 million in the race, said he is counting on a strong turnout from those upset with closed schools and red light camera tickets.

    Walls scheduled campaign events throughout the entire day Sunday, including stops at CAN TV and Christ Universal Temple.

    Alderman Bob Fioretti greeted voters in the Beverly neighborhood. He pointed out that while the city streets were already clear of snow and ice, the Department of Streets and Sanitation sent more than 300 snow trucks out Friday and Saturday for what amounted to only a few flurries.

    "There was no snow," Fioretti said. "It was a desperate move because it wasted taxpayers' money."

    When asked about the snow plows, the mayor would not comment.

    Another indicator that Emanuel supporters are leaving nothing to chance in this election is that the Chicago Forward PAC is running negative campaign ads into the final hours, a time usually reserved for positive messages only.

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