Former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel Elected Chicago Mayor

Posted by Chris Geidner
February 22, 2011 10:05 PM |

Emanuel.jpgRahm Emanuel, the former head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee who served as President Barack Obama's first White House chief of staff, was elected mayor of Chicago following today's vote, according to the Associated Press.

Roll Call reports:

With 86 percent of the precincts counted, the AP called the race for Emanuel with 55 percent of the vote, the Chicago Sun-Times reported. Because he received more than 50 percent, he will be declared the winner outright and won’t have to compete in an April runoff.

Emanuel's victory is not likely met with enthusiasm from all LGBT corners tonight. He faced criticism -- harsh at times -- regarding his approach and willingness (or perceived lack thereof) to pursue LGBT advancements while serving as Obama's chief of staff.

AmericaBlog's Joe Sudbay wrote in September 2010 of Emanuel's possible candidacy, "Chief of Staff Rahm has been one of the leading political homophobes in the White House. He still thinks it's 1993." Other prominent bloggers -- from Pam Spaulding to Andy Towle -- took a similar view of Emanuel throughout his tenure as chief of staff.

Despite their opposition, both the Human Rights Campaign and Equality Illinois PAC endorsed Emanuel's candidacy (albeit in the waning days of the campaign).

The Washington Post's The Fix blog details the other candidates, with Chris Cillizza and Aaron Blake writing:

Former Chicago board of education president Gery Chico was running in second with City Clerk Miguel del Valle and former Sen. Carol Moseley Braun battling for third and fourth but mired in single digits.

Emanuel becomes the city's first new mayor of the Windy City since 1989, when current Mayor Richard M. Daley was first elected. Daley is retiring.

[UPDATE @ 10:37 PM: Obama, in a brief statement issued by the White House, says:

I want to extend my congratulations to Rahm Emanuel on a well-deserved victory tonight.  As a Chicagoan and a friend, I couldn't be prouder. Rahm will be a terrific mayor for all the people of Chicago.

So, there's that.]

[Photo: Emanuel (Photo from Twitter.)]


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