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A rapper and the son of a late Chicago mayor may face runoffs – Chicago Sun-Times

A rapper and the son of a late Chicago mayor may face runoffs

By mark konkol
Staff Reporter

Feb 23, 2011 01:30AM

Story Image

Chicago 7th Ward Alderman Sandi Jackson talks with James Jackson in her Ward office, Election day, Tuesday, February 22, 2011. | John H. White~Sun-Times


An award-winning rapper and the son of a late Chicago mayor picked up just enough support Tuesday to force incumbent aldermen into an April runoff election.

Che “Rhymefest” Smith — who co-wrote Kanye West’s Grammy Award-winning hit “Jesus Walks” — got 20 percent of the vote with 100 percent of precincts reporting in the 20th Ward. That was enough to set up a showdown with Ald. Willie Cochran, who received 46 percent of the vote in a five-candidate field.

Smith said he thinks some voters may have been confused by the “other” Smith on the ballot — Andre Smith, who got 15 percent of the vote. George Davis came in third place with 16 percent of the vote.

“A lot of people didn’t vote for Cochran. People want change, and those who voted for Andre and George Davis will join up with me for change,” Che Smith said. “I’m having a revolution of love. We want the 20th Ward to be a village again.”

Cochran said Tuesday he was “disappointed that we didn’t finish it off,” but predicted victory in April.

“We’re going to make sure there will be no question in the future,” he said.

In the 6th Ward, Roderick Sawyer, son of former Mayor Eugene Sawyer, picked up 25 percent of the vote with all precincts reporting. That was apparently enough to force Ald. Freddrenna Lyle, who got 45 percent of the vote, into a head-to-head showdown.

“I’m happy to be alive to fight another day. Now, we need to attract those people who are dissatisfied with [Lyle] and try to capitalize on that,” Sawyer said. Chicago Police Officer Richard Wooten had 20 percent of the vote. Lyle said her opponents put out negative mailings and stole or destroyed thousands of signs.

“This was the dirtiest campaign I’ve ever been on,” Lyle said. “Now I focus on Sawyer. Now, I know this will be an unethical campaign because it’s been an unethical campaign so far.”

In the 21st Ward, Ald. Howard Brookins Jr. bested his family friend, Sheldon Sherman, whose father is a former alderman, to apparently avoid a runoff election. Brookins got 56 percent of the vote with 99 percent of precincts reporting.

“It seems I’ve been vindicated. People in the ward wanted Wal-Mart. They like my stances when I have spoken out against the mayor or the unions,” Brookins said. “I think we can finally close the door on that chapter and move on to something else.”

In the 7th Ward, Ald. Sandi Jackson also had an outright win over rival Darcel Beavers, daughter of former 7th Ward Ald. William Beavers. Jackson got 53 percent of the vote with 100 percent of precincts reporting.

Beavers came in second in the six-candidate field with 26 percent of the vote.

“This was a hard-fought campaign, but tonight the people of the 7th Ward spoke and spoke clearly,” Jackson said. “The 7th Ward moved forward and not backward.”

Continue reading here: A rapper and the son of a late Chicago mayor may face runoffs – Chicago Sun-Times

Gery Chico concedes mayor’s race to Rahm Emanuel

Runner-up Gery Chico tonight called Rahm Emauel to acknowledge Emanuel’s lead is insurmountable and he will be Chicago’s next mayor.

“We’ve elected a mayor tonight,” Chico told supporters. “I want with all of my heart for Rahm Emanuel to be successful as mayor. We need that, ladies and gentlemen.”

While Emanuel has yet to declare victory, he was well above the 50 percent benchmark he needed to avoid a runoff election.

With 89 percent of precincts counted, Emanuel had 54.9 percent to 24.3 percent for Gery Chico.

City Clerk Miguel del Valle had 9.4 percent and former U.S. Sen. Carol Moseley Braun was at 8.7 percent.

Braun conceded defeat, saying she didn’t know whether there’d be a runoff.

“I believe that hope flames eternal,” she told supporters. “We will continue to try to inspire people, to get them engaged in government….I wish the victor in this race all the success in the taking of the reins of government.”

Emanuel is holding his election night party at a Near West Side union hall. The Black Eyed Peas’ “I Gotta Feeling” played in the background as early election results came in.

A small crowd cheered as returns showed Emanuel over 50 percent and leading competitors with a wide margin.

Emanuel and his family were gathered in a room above the hall’s main floor. They sat on a small red couch as they watched returns come in on a flat screen television. Emanuel seemed giddy as he watched his lead grow.

At Chico’s election night headquarters at a River North hotel, the crowd was subdued as results rolled in showing Emanuel with a commanding lead. The campaign sent U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez, a staunch supporter, to speak to reporters. Gutierrez said he was “upbeat” because early results did not show where votes had been counted. But campaign staffers acknowledged Chico was making plans to come downstairs and address supporters “pretty soon.”

At Braun’s campaign party at a South Side ballroom, a 10-man gospel chorus was on stage belting out a song with the chorus “We are the chosen generation.”

Many in attendance turned away from the TV on one side of the room and clapped for the group or waved their hands to the music. Some held up smart phones to get quick videos of the performance.

A few dozen “Carol for Chicago” signs were stacked just outside the room for Braun’s eventual appearance before a bank of news cameras. Some on the campaign were signaling it will be an early night.

Earlier today, the major contenders fanned out across the city on Election Day looking for last-minute votes.

Despite a tremendous amount of attention on the mayor’s race and a slew of hotly-contested aldermanic races, election officials say turnout could be as low as 40 percent. That’s far less than the 50 percent turnout officials were hoping for on Monday.

If no candidate scores a majority tonight, the top two finishers will square off for six more weeks of campaigning. A runoff election will be held to determine Chicago’s next mayor.

Mayor Richard Daley, who is out of town today, isn’t on the ballot for the first time since 1989. He’ll leave office on May 16 when his successor is sworn in.

Emanuel is at a Near West Side union hall, Chico at a downtown hotel, Braun at a South Side ballroom and del Valle at a microbrewery.

Continue reading here: Gery Chico concedes mayor’s race to Rahm Emanuel

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Rahm Emanuel close to victory in Chicago mayor’s race

Rahm Emanuel is closing in tonight on the majority he needs to become Chicago’s next mayor.

With 86 percent of precincts counted, Emanuel had 54.9 percent to 24.3 percent for Gery Chico.

Emanuel is trying to score more than 50 percent to avoid a runoff election on April 5.

City Clerk Miguel del Valle had 9.4 percent and former U.S. Sen. Carol Moseley Braun was at 8.7 percent.

Emanuel is holding his election night party at a Near West Side union hall. The Black Eyed Peas’ “I Gotta Feeling” played in the background as early election results came in.

A small crowd cheered as returns showed Emanuel over 50 percent and leading competitors with a wide margin.

Emanuel and his family were gathered in a room above the hall’s main floor. They sat on a small red couch as they watched returns come in on a flat screen television. Emanuel seemed giddy as he watched his lead grow.

At Chico’s election night headquarters at a River North hotel, the crowd was subdued as results rolled in showing Emanuel with a commanding lead. The campaign sent U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez, a staunch supporter, to speak to reporters. Gutierrez said he was “upbeat” because early results did not show where votes had been counted. But campaign staffers acknowledged Chico was making plans to come downstairs and address supporters “pretty soon.”

At Braun’s campaign party at a South Side ballroom, a 10-man gospel chorus was on stage belting out a song with the chorus “We are the chosen generation.”

Many in attendance turned away from the TV on one side of the room and clapped for the group or waved their hands to the music. Some held up smart phones to get quick videos of the performance.

A few dozen “Carol for Chicago” signs were stacked just outside the room for Braun’s eventual appearance before a bank of news cameras. Some on the campaign were signaling it will be an early night.

Earlier today, the major contenders fanned out across the city on Election Day looking for last-minute votes.

Despite a tremendous amount of attention on the mayor’s race and a slew of hotly-contested aldermanic races, election officials say turnout could be as low as 40 percent. That’s far less than the 50 percent turnout officials were hoping for on Monday.

If no candidate scores a majority tonight, the top two finishers will square off for six more weeks of campaigning. A runoff election will be held to determine Chicago’s next mayor.

Mayor Richard Daley, who is out of town today, isn’t on the ballot for the first time since 1989. He’ll leave office on May 16 when his successor is sworn in.

Emanuel is at a Near West Side union hall, Chico at a downtown hotel, Braun at a South Side ballroom and del Valle at a microbrewery.

About 150 turned out foir del Valle’s election night party. State Sen. Iris Martinez, D-Chicago, said she was amazed by the low turnout.

“Why people are not more engaged the way they should be? It amazes me,” she said.

“I think people are going through foreclosures, the bad economy. These could be all the affects of it,” Martinez said. “People feel disengaged.”

Continue reading here: Rahm Emanuel close to victory in Chicago mayor’s race

Chico concedes mayor’s race to Emanuel

At Braun’s campaign party at a South Side ballroom, a 10-man gospel chorus was on stage belting out a song with the chorus “We are the chosen generation.”

Many in attendance turned away from the TV on one side of the room and clapped for the group or waved their hands to the music. Some held up smart phones to get quick videos of the performance.

A few dozen “Carol for Chicago” signs were stacked just outside the room for Braun’s eventual appearance before a bank of news cameras. Some on the campaign were signaling it will be an early night.

Earlier today, the major contenders fanned out across the city on Election Day looking for last-minute votes.

Despite a tremendous amount of attention on the mayor’s race and a slew of hotly-contested aldermanic races, election officials say turnout could be as low as 40 percent. That’s far less than the 50 percent turnout officials were hoping for on Monday.

If no candidate scores a majority tonight, the top two finishers will square off for six more weeks of campaigning. A runoff election will be held to determine Chicago’s next mayor.

Mayor Richard Daley, who is out of town today, isn’t on the ballot for the first time since 1989. He’ll leave office on May 16 when his successor is sworn in.

Emanuel is at a Near West Side union hall, Chico at a downtown hotel, Braun at a South Side ballroom and del Valle at a microbrewery.

About 150 turned out foir del Valle’s election night party. State Sen. Iris Martinez, D-Chicago, said she was amazed by the low turnout.

“Why people are not more engaged the way they should be? It amazes me,” she said.

“I think people are going through foreclosures, the bad economy. These could be all the affects of it,” Martinez said. “People feel disengaged.”

Chico, a former Daley chief of staff, spent the closing weeks of the contest working to erode what had been growing support for Emanuel and get into a runoff by ridiculing the “Rahm Tax.” That’s Emanuel’s plan to reduce the city’s home-rule sales tax but expand the tax base to unspecified services. Chico ripped the plan in TV ads and Emanuel put up his own spots to rebut the criticism.

In the final week, Chico ratcheted up his TV commercial criticism, contending Emanuel was pushing the sales-tax plan because “Rahm grew up in suburban safety and privilege” of the wealthy North Shore where higher taxes might be more acceptable than in working family neighborhoods.

Emanuel, who largely avoided addressing his opponents, called Chico “desperate” and countered “It’s not what neighborhood you grew up in. It’s whether you’re going to fight for neighborhoods.”

But Emanuel also began lowering expectations last weekend, acknowledging “it may take one or two bites of the apple” to become mayor.

Still, his camp pushed hard in the final days to close out a win in the race, keeping with the aura of inevitably it pushed. Emanuel used an extensive bankroll to run TV ads, deliver automated telephone messages and extol volunteers to get out the vote.

Though pre-election polls showed Emanuel gradually nearing the magic majority of support needed to prevent a runoff, Chico, Braun and del Valle each had urged voters to extend the campaign and allow voters more time to digest the significant issues at hand. Among them: An increasing city budget deficit, an improved-but-still-troubled public school system, a ballooning public-employee pension debt and ways to create jobs, improve the economy and combating a perception of a growing crime problem.

Each of Emanuel’s rivals pleaded with voters to ignore the former White House chief of staff’s huge lead in the polls and turn out to vote to set up a runoff.

“We, I think, will have a runoff and it will be good for the city,” del Valle predicted last weekend. “There are too many issues out there.”

Veteran election attorney Burt Odelson ended up being one of Emanuel’s toughest opponents. He claimed Emanuel wasn’t eligible to run for mayor because he abandoned his Chicago residency when he went to work for Obama.

After wending its way through the city’s election board – including a raucous hearing in which the tough, sharp-tongued Emanuel won points for staying cool under questioning for more than 11 hours by citizens and activists – the state Supreme Court in late January ruled in Emanuel’s favor.

Throughout it all, Emanuel abided by his campaign’s plan to keep his head down and let his lawyers do their work and being regimented about staying on message and trying appear above the fray.

“This is better than a commercial, isn’t it?” Odelson asked at one point during the hearing.

“It’s actually cheaper,” Emanuel responded of the attention.

Continue reading here: Chico concedes mayor’s race to Emanuel