Emanuel Wins Chicago Mayoral Race
Dorothy Rowley | 2/23/2011, 3 p.m.
After almost being booted from the race because of residency issues, President Barack Obama's former chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, has claimed victory as Chicago's next mayor.
Emmanuel's win with 55 percent of the vote in the hotly contested race means a runoff in April will not be necessary. As a result, he now prepares to take the helm in the nation's largest city, charting for it a new course in the wake of Mayor Richard Daley's retirement.
According to the Huffington Post, Emanuel described his Feb. 22 win as "humbling," adding that Daley had earned a special place in the hearts of Chicagoans and the city's history.
However, "We have not won anything until a kid can go to school thinking of their studies and not their safety," Emanuel said. "Until the parent of that child is thinking about their work and not where they are going to find work, we have not won anything."
Among those to congratulate Emanuel was former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, with whom he reportedly had had a complicated political relationship after helping her to land the post by leading the Democrats' 2006 election efforts.
"As White House chief of staff, he continued to advance the goals of good jobs for our workers, fairness for our families, and opportunity for all," Pelosi said in a Wall Street Journal report. "He will build on that record of leadership, achievement, and progress as the next mayor of his hometown."
In winning, Emanuel easily beat out five other candidates that included former Sen. Carol Moseley Braun. While a runoff would have extended the race for six more weeks, reports stated that the opposition was no match for Emanuel's momentum -- and money.
Early on during the race, Emanuel had been in the hot seat over doubts he lived in Chicago a year prior to announcing his candidacy.
After Obama assumed office two years ago -- Emanuel, a Chicago native -- lived in the District of Columbia while renting his Chicago home. He left the Obama administration in 2010 to enter the mayoral race. But questions soon abounded over residency rules for Chicago's mayoral candidates, leading an Illinois appellate court to eventually rule that because Emanuel had not met residency requirements, he could not remain in the race.
Then in December, the Chicago Election Commissioners unanimously struck down residency concerns for Emanuel, clearing the path for him as a candidate for mayor.