Tuesday, Chicago held elections for Mayor, and the highly contested election ended up being very close, to the point that no candidate, including incumbent Rahm Emmanuel won the majority of votes. Instead Emanuel and one of his challengers, Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, will face each other in a runoff election for Mayor on April 7th.
This election is very important for the city of Chicago, as well as the election process in general, because Garcia won 34% of the vote despite spending a less than 10% on his campaign than Emanuel did. Emanuel is not only the incumbent, but he is the former White House Chief of Staff, and was once very popular with voters.
It is clear from this election that grassroots campaigning, such as the campaign conducted by Garcia and his supporters, who is the Cook County Commissioner, can be effective. Imaging advantage users reported there are a number of reasons why Garcia’s campaign was so effective despite him running against a much better known opponent with bigger resources.
One of these factors in Emmanuel’s waning popularity since taking office. Emmanuel has lost a great deal of support from teachers, students and parents after closing 54 schools, which sparked three days of protests, as well as a eight day long strike over salaries and benefits in 2012 that kept schools closed.
Garcia has promised to improve conditions and treat education as a bigger priority, as well as to hire the 1,000 police officers that Emmanuel keeps promising.