Tags: rahm emanuel | jesus garcia | progressives | liberals | chicago | mayor

Liberals Revel as Rahm Emanuel Stumbles in Chicago Race

Image: Liberals Revel as Rahm Emanuel Stumbles in Chicago Race
(Kevin Dietsch/UPI/Landov)

By    |   Thursday, 26 Feb 2015 10:40 AM

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is facing serious opposition from progressives as he heads into a runoff for his re-election bid, Politico reported.

Emanuel, with powerful supporters, massive funding and city son Barack Obama to back him, was forced into an embarrassing runoff against Jesus "Chuy" Garcia, a Cook County Commissioner who emerged as a "giant" killer — triggering the first runoff in city history for an incumbent mayor, Politico said.

Now, progressive groups have turned their support toward Garcia, urging supporters around the country to look at the race as a victory, even as Emanuel is likely to emerge a winner in the April 7 runoff.

While some ponder whether the president's affiliation with Emanuel served to hurt him, at least one union leader said the election results signaled that Chicago residents were tired of politics as usual, Politico said.

"Anyone who spends any time in Chicago is not surprised by the outcome of this election," said Randi Weingarten, the president of the American Federation of Teachers.

Her union was angered over Emanuel's school closures and other changes undertaken amid city budget woes. "If you talk to working families, if you talk to people in communities, they wanted a change."

Weingarten added: "The mayor can say he's progressive. If you say that you're progressive and then you have this aggressive fight against public education, nobody's going to believe you."

Emanuel won 45 percent of the vote to Garcia's 34 percent, with five candidates on the ballot. He needed 50 percent to avoid a runoff, the Associated Press reported, noting his new-found vulnerability against an underfunded and far lesser-known opponent. Emanuel raised about $16 million for his race — "more than four times his challengers combined," The Associated Press said.

Progressives have cheered Emanuel's stumble.

"The good guys won Round One," Dan Cantor, national director for the Working Families Party, said in a statement, according to Bloomberg.

"Forcing Mayor 1 percent into a run-off is a remarkable achievement. Along with the runoff, the progressive caucus on the Council is poised to make gains," Cantor said.

Ilya Sherman,  MoveOn executive director, told Bloomberg: "Rahm Emanuel's millions of dollars weren't enough to whitewash his record of siding with big-money corporate interests over regular people. The fact that a majority of Chicagoans voted for change is a clear rejection of Mayor Emanuel's policies that have left too many behind."

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Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is facing serious opposition from progressives as he heads into a April 7 runoff in his re-election bid, Politico reported.
rahm emanuel, jesus garcia, progressives, liberals, chicago, mayor
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2015-40-26
Thursday, 26 Feb 2015 10:40 AM
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