By Phoebe Tollefson
Cook County Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia managed to dampen the mood at Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s election night party Tuesday by temporarily overcoming the mayor’s approximately $30 million war chest and forcing the city’s first-ever runoff election on April 7.
At the Journeyman Plumbers Union Local 130 on the Near West Side, Emanuel supporters waited patiently for their candidate. Emanuel received nearly 46 percent of the vote, just less than the 50-percent-plus-one vote threshold he needed to avoid a runoff. Garcia took 34 percent and Alderman Bob Fioretti took 7 percent. Willie Wilson garnered nearly 11 percent of votes and William “Dock” Walls took 3 percent.
Voter turnout sank to 32 percent from 42 percent in Emanuel’s 2011 win. Some observers blamed the frigid temperature. Others thought voters were less enthusiastic about the candidates this year than they were last election.
VIDEO (above): Meg Rauch reports from Mayor Emanuel’s post-election event.