Tags: | rahm emanuel | chuy garcia | chicago | mayor | runoff

Rahm Emanuel Goes on Attack in Chicago Mayoral Runoff

Image: Rahm Emanuel Goes on Attack in Chicago Mayoral Runoff
(Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images)

Wednesday, 04 Mar 2015 09:48 AM

Embattled Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is set to launch a series of attack ads against his runoff rival, Jesus "Chuy" Garcia, after the polling gap between them closed to within single digits.

The negative commercials are intended to portray the largely unknown Garcia as a politician who has done very little for the Windy City during his two decades in public service, according to Politico, citing sources close to the mayor.

With little more than a 4 percent lead for Emanuel in a recent poll, the ads will also be aimed at defending the mayor as a leader willing to make the tough choices for the people of Chicago no matter what the cost to his reputation.

Emanuel has come under fire in recent months for closing underperforming schools in struggling neighborhoods and for raising taxes to reduce the budget deficit, Politico reported.

Although Emanuel was initially thought to be a "slam dunk" for the April 7 runoff, liberal organizations, both local and national, are suddenly pouring money into the underfunded Garcia in an attempt to oust the incumbent, according to the political news website.

"In Chicago, politics is a contact sport, and it looks like we’re going to have one of those full-contact battles," said former White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley, whose father and brother each served as Chicago mayor for two decades.

Emanuel, 55, has turned to aggressive politicking a week after he failed to beat a crowded field of mayoral candidates with a large enough majority to avoid a runoff with the second-place candidate.

The mayor will go on the offense with the help of Chicago Forward, a super PAC created to aid Emanuel’s bid for a second term in office. Since the election, local financier Michael Sacks and his wife, Cari, gave $200,000 to the group, which is planning to spend the cash on TV commercials hyping the incumbent.

Emanuel launched his first attack on Garcia last week when he lambasted him for his opposition to placing President Barack Obama’s presidential library in Chicago, saying that it "speaks volumes about his lack of leadership."

Earlier this week, Garcia appeared to make a quick reversal on his reservations about putting the library on city park land. "Whatever the final decision is, I will support," he said.

With the battle now well and truly joined, Emanuel sent an email to Politico, saying that the election is now "a clear choice between two very different visions of Chicago’s future and how to get there."

He added, "One path sidesteps our problems and delays the solutions as they get worse and worse, and the other is about confronting our challenges head on."

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Embattled Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is set to launch a series of attack ads against his runoff rival Jesus "Chuy" Garcia after the polling gap between them closed to within single digits.
rahm emanuel, chuy garcia, chicago, mayor, runoff
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2015-48-04
Wednesday, 04 Mar 2015 09:48 AM
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