Chicago Voters Head To Polls To Replace Mayor Daley

Mayoral candidate Rahm Emanuel leaves Chicago's Home of Chicken and Waffles restaurant following a campaign stop and lunch Monday. He is the front-runner among the six candidates. i i

Mayoral candidate Rahm Emanuel leaves Chicago's Home of Chicken and Waffles restaurant following a campaign stop and lunch Monday. He is the front-runner among the six candidates. Scott Olson/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Scott Olson/Getty Images
Mayoral candidate Rahm Emanuel leaves Chicago's Home of Chicken and Waffles restaurant following a campaign stop and lunch Monday. He is the front-runner among the six candidates.

Mayoral candidate Rahm Emanuel leaves Chicago's Home of Chicken and Waffles restaurant following a campaign stop and lunch Monday. He is the front-runner among the six candidates.

Scott Olson/Getty Images

For the first time in more than two decades, voters in Chicago go to the polls Tuesday to elect a mayor who is not named Richard Daley. Last year, Daley announced he would not seek a record seventh term.

Former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel is one of the candidates hoping to replace Daley. Although Emanuel leads in both polls and fundraising, the other candidates predict there will be no clear-cut winner and that a runoff is likely.

Here's what all the candidates running for mayor of Chicago want to do: get 50 percent plus one more vote. That's what it will take to claim outright victory.

During the last full day of campaigning on Monday, the candidates crisscrossed the city.

Emanuel started at a familiar place — one of the city's elevated train stations in the L system.

"It's either 109 or 110 L stops since we started," Emanuel says.

Chicago mayoral candidate Gery Chico campaigns at Lume's Pancake House Monday. Six candidates are on Tuesday's ballot to replace the retiring Mayor Richard Daley, who didn't seek a seventh term. i i

Chicago mayoral candidate Gery Chico campaigns at Lume's Pancake House Monday. Six candidates are on Tuesday's ballot to replace the retiring Mayor Richard Daley, who didn't seek a seventh term. M. Spencer Green/AP hide caption

itoggle caption M. Spencer Green/AP
Chicago mayoral candidate Gery Chico campaigns at Lume's Pancake House Monday. Six candidates are on Tuesday's ballot to replace the retiring Mayor Richard Daley, who didn't seek a seventh term.

Chicago mayoral candidate Gery Chico campaigns at Lume's Pancake House Monday. Six candidates are on Tuesday's ballot to replace the retiring Mayor Richard Daley, who didn't seek a seventh term.

M. Spencer Green/AP

While the train rumbled overhead, Emanuel shook hands, posed for pictures and continued to talk about changes he says are needed to get the city's dismal economy in shape. The latest poll shows him with 49 percent of the support of likely voters, but he cautiously avoids making predictions.

"That's their decision on the election," Emanuel says. "My goal is to make sure that they know I've been honest about what the challenges are, honest about what the policy choices are."

Emanuel won a court decision in a battle trying to knock him off the ballot based on his residency. He's raised millions of dollars, dominating the airwaves with commercials. One features President Obama praising Emanuel.

"If Obama back him, [I will] back him," says Leatrice Jarvis, who was at the L stop.

But Emanuel wasn't the only candidate wooing commuters. Traveling from stop to stop on the L, former School Board Chief Gery Chico had a message: "Throw all your polls away."

Chicago mayoral candidate and former U.S. Sen. Carol Moseley Braun is welcomed at a get-out-the-vote rally Monday. Six candidates are on Tuesday's ballot to replace retiring Mayor Richard Daley, who didn't seek a seventh term. i i

Chicago mayoral candidate and former U.S. Sen. Carol Moseley Braun smiles is welcomed at a get-out-the-vote rally Monday. Six candidates are on Tuesday's ballot to replace retiring Mayor Richard Daley, who didn't seek a seventh term. M. Spencer Green/AP hide caption

itoggle caption M. Spencer Green/AP
Chicago mayoral candidate and former U.S. Sen. Carol Moseley Braun is welcomed at a get-out-the-vote rally Monday. Six candidates are on Tuesday's ballot to replace retiring Mayor Richard Daley, who didn't seek a seventh term.

Chicago mayoral candidate and former U.S. Sen. Carol Moseley Braun smiles is welcomed at a get-out-the-vote rally Monday. Six candidates are on Tuesday's ballot to replace retiring Mayor Richard Daley, who didn't seek a seventh term.

M. Spencer Green/AP

And in a city where machine politics and get-out-the-vote efforts are the stuff of legend, Chico, who is a distant second in the polls, says his organization is ready to go.

"We're hoping to have a couple of thousand people working on the streets in the precincts — getting their voters out. We've already done a bit of work on phone banking," Chico says.

A former chief of staff to Daley, Chico calls himself a guy from Chicago's neighborhoods.

Political analyst and Chicago Sun Times columnist Laura Washington says the candidates scrambling to fight for another day have put a dent in the expectation that Emanuel would run away with the election.

"No one's been really able to lay a glove on him in any meaningful way," Washington says.

But that doesn't mean they don't continue to try.

Moseley Braun made history when she became the first black female to win election to the U.S. Senate. Her chanting supporters hope that on this date, the same day that Harold Washington won the Democratic mayoral primary 28 years ago, Braun will again make history.

Chicago mayoral candidate Miguel del Valle assembles campaign signs with volunteer Israel Martinez at campaign headquarters Monday. i i

Chicago mayoral candidate Miguel del Valle assembles campaign signs with volunteer Israel Martinez at campaign headquarters Monday. M. Spencer Green/AP hide caption

itoggle caption M. Spencer Green/AP
Chicago mayoral candidate Miguel del Valle assembles campaign signs with volunteer Israel Martinez at campaign headquarters Monday.

Chicago mayoral candidate Miguel del Valle assembles campaign signs with volunteer Israel Martinez at campaign headquarters Monday.

M. Spencer Green/AP

She took aim at millionaires Emanuel and Chico, saying she had never used her office for personal gain.

"Tweedledee and Tweedledum, right? Both of them using the public trust to enrich themselves personally," Braun charged.

Braun, who was selected as a consensus black candidate, hasn't raised much money.

Neither has the fourth major candidate, City Clerk Miguel del Valle. He refused corporate and large donations. Asked during an event at his campaign office if he thought this race for mayor would go beyond Tuesday, he responded, "Yes, I think so, absolutely."

Del Valle says debates have increased his viability.

Two lesser-known candidates are running as well. There are six candidates in all — making that 50 percent-plus-one threshold a little harder to reach.

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