For the first time since Chicago switched to non-partisan mayoral elections in 1996, Chicago will have a runoff for the mayor's office. The two remaining contenders are Cook County Commissioner Jesus "Chuy" Garcia and incumbent politico Rahm "Voldemort" Emanuel.
Emanuel held many advantages to help avoid a runoff and secure early victory: name recognition, connections, a wide array of endorsements, the lowest turnout in recent memory, and a budget far greater than the combined opposition to pay for the saturation of Chicago's radio and TV airwaves with dubious advertisements. But Chicago voters were slapped around by Rahm's policies, including sweeping mental health clinic closings, the largest school closing in American history, the maintenance of a draining Tax Increment Finance system, and a criminal police apparatus. Voters denied Rahm his majority to win.
Garcia is a former Chicago alderman, member of the staff of former mayor Harold Washington, and current Cook County commissioner. Garcia has nowhere near the business connections that Emanuel has, which Garcia has touted to his advantage, and has received the endorsement of the Chicago Teachers Union that defeated Emanuel in the CTU's famous 2012 strike. Garcia has the potential to fuse the votes that didn’t go to Emanuel, that could shape the majority needed to win. As the Chicago weather is bound to warm up, the number of voters heading to the polls in a runoff are expected to increase, thus improving Garcia's chances.
UPDATE: Emanuel may have had his first public meltdown moment.