Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel reportedly is relying on some powerful Republican politicians and donors to win a second term — including Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner and investor Muneer Satter.
Rauner has been working behind the scenes to help his longtime friend, the Chicago Sun-Times
has reported, and GOP Sen. Mark Kirk
has pitched the mayor, telling the Sun-Times the city could follow Detroit into bankruptcy if Emanuel loses the election.
The National Journal
reports that several top donors to Emanuel's Chicago Forward super-PAC are conservative Republicans, including hedge-fund manager Ken Griffin and investor Satter.
"The circles that Rahm travels in have always been pretty diverse because he has a strong connection to the financial industry," Tom Bowen, Emanuel's former political director, told the National Journal. "Rahm gets a diverse mix of donors — he does get money from Ken Griffin, a big Rauner supporter, but he also gets money from Michael Sacks, a big supporter of President [Barack] Obama's."
Democrat Jesus "Chuy" Garcia, a little-known Cook County commissioner with the backing of the teachers' union, has become a stronger-than-expected runoff opponent — and both he and Emanuel are wooing conservatives to win a majority in the heavily Democratic city, the National Journal reports.
Emanuel was forced into a runoff against his fellow Democrat after he failed to win a majority against four challengers in a Feb. 24 nonpartisan election; he took a 45.6 percent plurality while Garcia finished second with 33.5 percent.
The mayor held a 51 percent to 37 percent lead over Garcia in a poll published last week in the Chicago Tribune
Republicans are about one-fifth of the city's electorate, and Rauner won 21 percent of the Chicago vote in 2014; turnout in the wealthier, more-Republican wards was relatively low in the first round of the primary, but those voters are more likely to rally to Emanuel's side, the National Journal reports.
The runoff election is April 7.
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