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Last Day For Early Voting In Heated Mayoral Race

Voters cast their ballots in suburban Chicago. (credit: Frank Polich/Getty Images)

Voters cast their ballots in suburban Chicago. (credit: Frank Polich/Getty Images)

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CHICAGO (CBS) – The last day has arrived for early voting in the mayoral race, and Election Day is right around the corner.

As CBS 2’s Susanna Song reports, early voting concludes at 5 p.m. Thursday, and voters who miss the deadline will need to visit their polling place on Election Day this coming Tuesday.

Voters are casting their ballots for mayor, city clerk, city treasurer – in which Stephanie D. Neely is running unopposed – and all 50 aldermanic seats.

Click here for a list of early voting locations.

Meanwhile, as campaign season wraps up, the top two candidates – Rahm Emanuel and Gery Chico are going at it again, and some say it has gotten ugly.

<a href="http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2011/02/16/chico-supporter-stirs-controversy-calls-emanuel-judas/"Jim Sweeney, head of Operating Engineers Local 150, was endorsing Chico Tuesday night at a labor rally when he called Emanuel a “Wall Street Judas.”

Sweeney was getting ready to introduce Chico and was talking about the financial problems facing the city when he made the remark.

“We don’t need to be told that there’s an economic problem, we live it every day,” Sweeney said. “Rahm Emanuel doesn’t live it, he’s nothing but a Wall Street Judas [with] a bag of silver that he collected when he went and passed NAFTA. That’s exactly what he is.”

After Sweeney said those words, Chico took the podium a short time later and hugged Sweeney, but said nothing about Sweeney’s comment.

Emanuel’s campaign didn’t like any of it.

In a statement Wednesday, Emanuel – who is Jewish – said “I have absolute confidence that the people of the city of Chicago will see this comment for what it is and reject the values behind it. And the ugliness behind it.”

The Anti-Defamation League also lashed out at Sweeney for his comment, saying calling Emanuel “Judas” and mentioning a “bag of silver” plays into age-old stereotypes about Jews.
Sweeney denied his comment had anything to do with Emanuel’s religion.

“When I referred to a Judas, that’s no different than a Benedict Arnold or any of the great traitors in history who traded on the people that believed in them,” Sweeney said.

Chico’s campaign also said it didn’t see Sweeney’s comment as anti-Semitic.

A recent poll by the Illinois Retail Merchants Association showed Emanuel with 58 percent support, followed by Chico with 24 percent, Miguel Del Valle with 10 percent, and Carol Moseley Braun with 6 percent.