The race for Mayor of Chicago will go on for another six weeks as Mayor Rahm Emanuel failed to secure a majority of votes needed to avoid a runoff. Emanuel finished with 45 percent of the vote to Garcia's 34 percent with most of city precincts reporting, despite amassing a campaign war chest of $12 million. He will face Garcia again on April 7.
"We have come a long way," a noticeably hoarse-voiced Emanuel told supporters. "We have a little bit further to go. This is the first step in a really important journey for our city."
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The disappointing showing for Emanuel comes in an election that saw only 33 percent of registered city voters turn out, down from 42 percent four years ago. This, on the wave of a record early voter turnout of about 90,000 registered voters - that was 23 percent above the year before.
Chicago Board of Elections Commissioner Jim Allen says the cold weather mixed with a lack of general interest in the election conspired to keep the numbers down.
"To all of you that voted for me, I thank you from the bottom of my heart," Emanuel said, vowing to hit the Chicago "L" stops for campaign meet and greets early Wednesday morning. "To those that didn't, I hope to win your trust. I congratulate Chuy Garcia on a good race. He's a good man."
The mayor and other candidates raced to the finish line this morning. Emanuel visited phone banks and dined with campaign co-chairs Luis Gutierrez and City Clerk Susana Mendoza, trying to highlight some of the establishment Latino support he has -- although he has more trouble in the general Latino community. Garcia stopped at the famed Manny's Deli for lunch, a favorite political hotspot, trying to cull late support.
Election board commissioners reported some irregularities, including disruptive election judges. Four precincts stayed open an hour later than the 7:00 pm cutoff time because of problems in the morning.
Garcia is now expected to coalesce support among the city's labor unions, including AFSCME, SEIU, and the Chicago Teachers Union. Those groups are upset at changes the mayor has made to worker pensions, the decision to close 50 under-performing and under-enrolled schools, and the overall contentious relationship he has had negotiating union contracts with them.
Four of the city's precincts opened late and will be extending their hours until 8:00 pm for voting. Check out a map of the locations below.
Watch Chicago Tonight's Feb. 4 mayoral candidate forum.
Click the dots in the image below to learn more about the candidates.
-- Graphic by Yasmin Rammohan
Click the dots in the image below to learn more about the candidates' positions on key issues.
-- Graphic by Travis Cornejo
Prior to our Feb. 4 forum, Chicago Tonight sat down with all four mayoral challengers for one-on-one conversations. Watch the interviews below. The candidates are listed in the same order they will appear on the ballot.
The last time Mayor Rahm Emanuel sat down for a one-on-one with Phil Ponce was June 4, 2014. Watch the interview below.
View a graphic of key endorsements in the Chicago mayoral race. Click the dots in the image below to learn more about endorsements received by candidates.
--Graphic by Kristen Thometz; Eman Shurbaji contributed