Rahm Emanuel elected mayor of Chicago

13:05, February 23, 2011      

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Former White House Chief of Staff and the then Chicago mayoral candidate Rahm Emanuel waves to the audience as he prepares for a televised debate against Democratic rivals Gery Chico, Carol Moseley Braun and Miguel del Valle in Chicago, Illinois February 17, 2011. (Xinhua/Reuters File Photo)

Former White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel won the Chicago mayor's election Tuesday night.

"Thank you Chicago for this humbling victory," a smiling Emanuel told supporters in downtown Chicago.

Chicago's new mayor said the city needs to confront a budget shortfall "not by burdening Chicago families with more taxes they cannot afford, but by reinventing city government so that city government works for the taxpayers."

As Emanuel spoke, President Barack Obama sent his good wishes to Emanuel. The president said in a statement that Emanuel's victory was well-deserved and he couldn't be prouder of his fellow Chicagoan and friend.

Emanuel's declaration came after runner-up Gery Chico called him tonight to concede defeat.

Emanuel needed at least 50 percent of the votes to avoid a runoff and he got what he needed. With 98 percent of precincts counted, Emanuel had 55.2 percent to 24.1 percent for Chico.

City Clerk Miguel del Valle had 9.3 percent followed by former U.S. Senator Carol Moseley Braun with 8.9 percent.

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

Incumbent Mayor Richard Daley wasn't on the ballot for the first time since 1989. He'll leave office on May 16 when his successor is sworn in.

Source: Xinhua
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