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By Robert A. Vella

In this current era of unshackled corporatism where big monied interests dominate over the will of ordinary people, progressive victories are far and few between.  Sometimes they occur on small but important scales such as the recent trend towards raising the minimum wage in select regions and industries across the nation.  Sometimes their victories are pyrrhic like the presidential election of Barack Obama in 2008.  And, sometimes progressives win a symbolic victory as they did yesterday in Chicago’s mayoral race.

Incumbent Mayor Rahm Emanuel, the longtime corporatist Democratic Party power-broker, failed to achieve the 50-percent vote threshold necessary to avoid a runoff election in April against challenger and Cook County commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia.  Although runoff elections can be unpredictable, it would still be improbable that Emanuel would be voted out of office given the financial and logistical resources at his disposal.

However, this election result did express a negative public mood against Emanuel who has been under fire for catering to corporate interests, failing to support public education, opposing the teachers’ union, and for exaggerated claims of reducing crime in the city.

While progressives can rejoice over being a painful thorn in Emanuel’s side, they shouldn’t be too happy about the abysmal voter turnout in this election which has been estimated at just 34% – two points less than the record-low turnout (nationally) of the 2014 midterm elections.

Further reading:  Mayor Emanuel heads to runoff against Garcia

4 thoughts on “Progressives force Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel into Runoff Election

  1. Hurray for me and my fellow Chicago progressives!!!! I’m one of the voters who forced Rahm into a vote off with Chuy! Though I must admit, as a die hard Star Wars fan, it’s VERY hard NOT to vote for a guy named Chuy!!! Let’s here it for the good guys in the Windy City!!!!

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