CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel will take on Cook County Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia in the first mayoral runoff election in Chicago history on April 7.
A fiery Garcia, who finished second to Emanuel, criticized Emanuel on catering to special interests and failing to do enough on crime an education in a speech to his supporters at the Alhambra Palace in the West Loop.
“Today, we the people have spoken,” Garcia said. “Not the people with the money and the power and the connections, not the giant corporations, the big money special interests, the hedge funds and Hollywood celebrities who poured tens of millions of dollars into the mayor’s campaign.”
Garcia supporters were already wearing mustache-emblazoned campaign buttons with the April 7 runoff date at his election party.
With 99 percent of precincts reporting, Emanuel had 45 percent, shy of the 50 percent plus one vote needed to avoid a runoff. Garcia had 34 percent of the vote, separating him from the rest of Emanuel’s challengers and putting him in position for the runoff.
Trailing Garcia was businessman Willie Wilson in third with 11 percent, Alderman Robert Fioretti in fourth with 7 percent and William “Dock” Walls in last with 3 percent.
At his election night party at the Chicago Journeymen Plumbers Union Hall, Emanuel conceded that he would be in a runoff and thanked his supporters.
“I congratulate Chuy Garcia on a good race,” Emanuel said. “He is a good man and I look forward to a debate of the issues in the weeks ahead so we can be clear about the choice for the city of Chicago’s future.”
He also extended his thanks to Wilson, Fioretti and Walls.
Earlier on Tuesday, Garcia confidently predicted that he would force Emanuel into a runoff election.
After the election was called, Garcia tweeted that, “This win proves that a movement of people like you can beat a political machine backed by billion-dollar corporations. On to April 7th.”
Walls, who had twice previously run for mayor, conceded and said that this would be the last time he would run for mayor.
Willie Wilson said he will continue to be in politics and takes credit for helping to force a runoff. He said he will meet with Garcia on Wednesday and throw his support behind him.
Fioretti said he would like to meet with Garcia to talk about supporting him. Asked whether or not he would consider supporting Emanuel, Fioretti laughed.
Cold weather may have played a role in the election with turnout coming in at over 34 percent. That is down from four years ago, when turnout was 42 percent.
Emanuel enjoyed a significant financial edge over his opponents. The mayor’s campaign raised $13.6 million for the election, compared to Chuy Garcia’s $1.4 million. He also received the backing of President Barack Obama, who supported Rahm in political ads and during an appearance in Chicago to declare the Pullman neighborhood a national monument.
Mayor Emanuel’s office announced that Emanuel would not have any public events scheduled for Wednesday.