By John Dodge
CHICAGO (CBS) — Thrown into a bruising run-off election, Rahm Emanuel scored a hard-fought win for a second term, defeating Jesus “Chuy” Garcia on Tuesday, thus ending a mayoral campaign never before seen in Chicago.
With 95 percent of the vote counted, Emanuel held a 55.5 percent to 44.5 percent edge over Garcia. CBS 2 exit polling data from Edison Research projected the final margin to be 55 percent to 45 percent.
“Thank you Chicago!” Emanuel declared in his victory speech, shortly after 9 p.m.
“I want to congratulate Chuy Garcia for running an excellent race. He clearly loves the city of Chicago.”
Emanuel, politically damaged by his decision to close more than 50 Chicago Public Schools and fighting the perception that he was out of touch with voters and only focused on pleasing well-heeled business connections, failed to win 50 percent of the vote in February’s election.
CAMPAIGN 2015: FULL CHICAGO ELECTION RESULTS
That result led to the first ever run-off election in Chicago, with the Chicago Teacher’s Union, angered over the school closings, providing much of the momentum to Garcia, especially in the early days following February’s first round.