Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel won a second term against challenger Jesus “Chuy” Garcia on Tuesday in a hard-fought contest to run the nation’s financially troubled third-largest city, according to local media.
With 73 percent of precincts reporting, Emanuel had 56 percent of the vote compared with 44 percent for Garcia, a Cook County commissioner. Turnout was 44 percent, the city’s Board of Election Commissioners said.
Over a six-week-long non-partisan race, the battle between Democrats Emanuel and Garcia became a symbol for a national divide between the party’s moderates and the less well-funded progressive wing.
Under attack for being out of touch with the poor and the city’s neighborhoods, Emanuel campaigned to soften his abrasive image. Instead of his usual business suits, he donned a sweater in ads where he admitted he could rub people the wrong way but said he could make the tough decisions to keep the city on track.
Chicago’s budget gap is projected to grow to $1.2 billion next year. And the re-elected mayor may have to make unpopular moves such as possibly raising property taxes and cutting funds for a school district with 400,000 students.
(Reporting by Mary Wisniewski; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)