[Originally posted on WindyCityTimes.com on Feb. 24]
Incumbent Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel will face a runoff against challenger Jesus Garcia April 7. Emanuel did not get the simple majority of votes needed to win.
The results shocked the political establishment and brought back memories of Harold Washington's 1983 upset victory to become Chicago first African American mayor.
Incumbent Ald. Deb Mell, the council's only openly lesbian alderman, is headed to a runoff in the 33rd Ward.
Carlos Ramirez-Rosa, an openly gay Latino newcomer, upset incumbent Rey Colon in the 35th Ward, becoming the first openly gay Latino alderman in Chicago. Another Latino gay man, Raymond Lopez, received the most votes in his race for 15th Ward alderman, but he will face a runoff. This could lead to two new openly gay aldermen in Chicago.
The 46th will have a gay vs. lesbian runoffJames Cappleman the incumbent vs. challenger Amy Crawford. Incumbent Tom Tunney coasted to easy victory in the 44th Ward.
For the first time since the city switched to its current nonpartisan election format in the mid-1990s, there will be a run-off election to determine who will be mayor of Chicago.
With 97 percent of the polls reporting, no candidate acquired 50 percent of the vote, plus one additional vote, required to avoid a runoff. That means Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who had 45.36 percent of the vote, will face off against Cook County Commissioner Jesus "Chuy" Garcia, who had 33.93 percent.
Businessman/minister Willie Wilson trailed Emanuel and Garcia with 10.55 percent of the vote. Ald. Robert "Bob" Fioretti had 7.4 percent, while activist William "Dock" Walls had 2.76 percent.
Speaking at Chicago Journeyman Plumbers Hall, 1340 W. Washington Blvd., Emanuel said, "This is a first step for a really important journey for our city. … For those who voted for someone else, I hope to gain your confidence and support. While we are a city of different ideas and different opinions, we all share a common value. That value is, to build a city where every resident in every neighborhood has a fair shot at success for themselves and their children and the American dream is alive here in the city of Chicago."
Meanwhile at Alhambra Palace Restaurant, 1240 W. Randolph St., Garcia said that he and his supporters were "sick and tired of being sick and tired. We're going to build a new Chicago, a Chicago that works for everyone [and] a city that people will want to move to, not run away from."
Both Garcia and Emanuel received support from various segments of the city's LGBT community. Garcia released an extensive LGBT platform in early February, and a number of progressive LGBT activists released a statement in support of his campaign as well. Emanuel was endorsed by Equality Illinois PAC in mid-February.
In other citywide races, Susana Mendoza was re-elected to her post without opposition as city clerk. She was initially challenged by gay activist Marc Loveless, but Loveless was removed from the ballot. Also, City Treasurer Kurt Summers, recently appointed by Mayor Emanuel and unopposed in the election, will retain his position.
"Runoff" was the name of the game in the aldermanic as well as mayoral races, as winning candidates hoped to avoid an April 7 runoff election by securing 50 percent of the votes plus one.
For example, 3rd Ward Ald. Pat Dowell and 4th Ward Ald. Will Burns won comfortably over their rivals. (These reports were as of 10:10 p.m. Feb. 24.) Leslie Hairston, of the 5th Ward, had 53 percent of the vote, leading five rivals including openly queer candidate Jocelyn Hare.
The 7th Ward featured a very tight racewhich is likely to happen with eight candidates. Natasha Holmes and Gregory Mitchell were at the top with 24 and 22 percent of the vote, respectively.
The 2nd Ward (which Ald. Bob Fioretti gave up to run for mayor) has Brian Hopkins and Alyx Pattison leading four other candidates, with 30 and 24 percent, respectively.
In the 15th Ward, openly gay candidate Raymond A. Lopez led five other candidates, but did not get the majority needed to avoid a runoff, as he garnered 47 percent of the vote.
There was a tight race in the 16th Ward, as Toni Foulkes and Stephanie Coleman had 41 and 35 percent of the vote, respectively, paving the way for a runoff. Derrick Curtis and Lona Lane were in a dead heat in the 18th Ward, with each having 30 percent of the vote. The 24th Ward featured a plethora of candidates (10), with Michael Scott and Vetress Boyce garnering the most (31 and 17 percent, respectively).
Two LGBT candidates in Wards 26-50 will join Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Jesus "Chuy" Garcia in a run-off election on April 7. For the others, it was a night of both close and resounding victories and crushing defeats.
Carlos Ramirez-Rosa will be the city's first openly gay Latino alderman after easily defeating longtime incumbent Rey Colon. Ramirez-Rosa received 67.34 percent of the vote to Colon's 32.66 percent.
As of 10:30 p.m. Tuesday, 46th Ward incumbent James Cappleman ended up in a run-off as he took 46.76 percent of the vote. Opponent Amy Crawford took 37.66 percent and Denice Davis ended up with 15.59 percent.
In the 33rd Ward Ald. Deb Mell will face a run-off with 49.66 percent of the vote, while challenger Tim Meegan finished with 34.51 percent and Anissa Wanat closed out the group with 15.83 percent.
In the 39th Ward openly gay Joe Laiacona took only 3.9 percent of a vote that left incumbent Ald. Margaret Laurino with 53 percent of the vote while challenger Robert Murphy took 43 percent.
In the 44th Ward, Tom Tunney, the city's first openly gay alderman, won comfortably with 67 percent of the vote. His closest challenger Mark Thomas took only 23.7 percent.
Other incumbents facing run-offs include Deborah L. Graham in the 29th Ward who took 39 percent of the vote, 31st Ald. Regner "Ray" Suarez with 47.68 percent of the vote, 37th Ward Ald. Emma M. Mitts with 48 percent of the vote, 41st Ward Ald. Mary O'Connor with 47.68 percent of the vote, 43rd Ward Ald. Michele Smith with 41 percent of the vote, and 45th Ward Ald. John S. Arena with 45 percent of the vote.
Wards 1-25: List of results
1: Joe Moreno
2: Runoff: Brian Hopkins and Alyx Pattison
3: Pat Dowell
4: Will Burns
5: Leslie Hairston
6: Roderick Sawyer
7: Runoff: Natashia L. Holmes and Gregory I. Mitchell
8: Michelle Harris
9: Anthony Beale
10: Runoff: John A. Pope and Susan Sadlowski Garza
11: Runoff: Patrick Daley Thompson and John K. Kozlar
12: George Cardenas (unchallenged)
13: Marty Quinn (unchallenged)
14: Ed Burke (unchallenged)
15: Runoff: Raymond A. Lopez and Rafael Yanez
16: Runoff: Toni L. Foulkes and Stephanie Coleman
17: David H. Moore
18: Runoff: Derrick G. Curtis and Lona Lane
19: Matthew J. O'Shea
20: Runoff: Willie B. Cochran and Kevin Bailey
21: Runoff: Howard B. Brookins Jr. and Marvin McNeil
22: Ricardo Munoz
23: Michael R. Zalewski
24: Runoff: Michael Scott Jr. and Vetress Boyce
25: Danny Solis
Wards 26-50: List of results
26: Roberto Maldonado
27: Walter Burnett, Jr.
28: Jason C. Ervin (unchallenged)
29: Run off: Deborah L. Graham and Chris Taliaferro
30: Ariel E. Reboyras (unchallenged)
31: Run off: Reyner "Ray" Suarez and Millagros "Milly" Santiago
32: Scott Waguespack
33: Run off: Deborah L. Mell and Tim Meegan
34: Carrie M. Austin
35: Carlos Ramirez-Rosa
36: Run off: Omar Aquino and Gilbert Villegas
37: Run off: Emma M. Mitts and Tara Stamps
38: Nicholas Sposato
39: Margaret Laurino
40: Patrick J. O'Connor
41: Run off: Mary O'Connor and Anthony V. Napolitano
42: Brendan Reilly (unchallenged)
43: Runoff: Michele Smith and Caroline Vickrey
44: Tom Tunney
45: Runoff: John S. Arena and John Garrido
46: Runoff: James Cappleman and Amy Crawford
47: Ameya Pawar
48: Harry Osterman (unchallenged)
49: Joe Moore
50: Debra L. Silverstein
Related coverage, Ward by Ward in the race for Chicago mayor, at the link: www.windycitymediagroup.com/lgbt/Ward-by-Ward-in-the-race-for-Chicago-mayor/50670.html .