In case you didn’t know, Chicago mayor and Obama ally Rahm Emanuel is up for re-election and… it actually isn’t looking very good.
Emanuel has mounted an extremely expensive, high-powered push to get past 50 percent of the vote—the threshold he needs to win reelection outright and avoid an April 7 runoff. The X-factor in the race seems to be black voters, so Emanuel has rolled out endorsements from high-profile African American politicians, including his former boss President Obama and [mc_name name=’Rep. Bobby Rush (D-IL)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’R000515′ ], the only man to ever beat Obama in an election.
A Chicago Tribune poll last week showed that Emanuel was within striking distance of an outright majority, with 45 percent of voters backing him, and nearly 20 percent undecided. Emanuel’s top opponent is Cook County Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia; other challengers include Alderman Bob Fioretti and businessman Willie Wilson.
To be fair, I’d be very surprised if Emanuel didn’t win it, but his tenure in Chicago has been filled with all the drama one could possibly expect to see in a single term. He faced a major public school teacher strike, dealt with a lot of financial issues, and runs a city with a depressingly impressive murder rate. Above all, though, Rahm has been a controversial figure from the get-go and, frankly, incredibly brusque with his words.
Rahm’s top opponent is Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, who has really been bringing out support and is the one likely to push Emanuel into a run-off. Garcia is a Mexican immigrant, nearly lifelong politician, and promises to fix education and add $120 million (and 1000 officers) to the Chicago police force (he says through cutbacks and financial restructuring – we’ll see, I suppose).
There are other candidates, too. You can do a little research through Ballotpedia. I’m… not exactly sure if any of Emanuel’s opponents would actually be an improvement over Rahm, but it could be something to take down an Obama ally, especially if Obama campaigned for that ally. After all, Obama’s batting average on campaigning for others is less-than-stellar, and maybe we should keep it that way.
The Ace of Spades Decision Desk will be covering the race live Tuesday night (for most, you’re reading this day-of, so “tonight”), so catch the results coming in here.