What did you do yesterday, Chicago residents?
Apparently, only 41 percent of those of you registered voters spent a portion of your day voting in the February 22 Chicago election.
That is even more disappointing that predicted: Experts had expected a slightly higher than 50 percent turnout.
And, even that would have been low by Chicago standards: In 1989, when Richard M. Daley was first elected mayor of Chicago, 68 percent of registered Chicago voters came to the polls.
According to the Chicago Board of Elections, about 580,000 ballots were cast on Tuesday. Add that to the 73,200 early ballots and 26,000 absentee ballots and we still are nowhere close to the 1.4 million registered voters in Chicago.
Regardless, enough Chicago residents wanted the same candidate because Rahm Emanuel won the mayoral race handily, receiving 321,773 votes, which is 55 percent. He needed to secure 50 percent of the vote plus one for a victory. Gery Chico would have been the runoff candidate had it gone that way, coming in second with 24 percent of Chicago’s votes.
Chico was gracious in his concession speech. “I want with all of my heart for Rahm Emanuel to be successful as mayor of Chicago,” he said.” Our future is very, very bright … and I know Rahm will lead us in the right direction. Let’s all work together to get behind the new mayor and make this the best city on the face of the Earth.”
While the mayoral race warranted no runoff, the Chicago City Council will include runoffs aplenty. Of the 50 aldermanic seats on the ballot, 14 failed to find a winner who secured 50 percent of the vote.
One of those in a runoff race is Che “Rhymefest” Smith, a rapper who won a Grammy in 2004. The Chicago resident took 20 percent of the vote and will enter a runoff election on April 5 against incumbent Alderman Willie Cochran, 83, who has been alderman of the West Rogers Park area since 1973 and who led the election with 46 percent of the vote.
In the City Clerk race, it was state representative Susana Mendoza taking the job. She will now become the first female City Clerk of Chicago. In her acceptance speech, she promised residents that the city stickers will stick. If you remember, Chicago had to fire the company that makes Chicago’s city stickers after the adhesive failed on many of them last year.
To see all the results from Chicago’s February 22 election, visit chicagoelections.com.
Then stay tuned to Chicagoland Real Estate Forum for updates on what new Mayor Rahm Emanuel does next with the City of Chicago.
“We are known as a Windy City. We’re known as a cold place in the middle of winter,” said Rahm in his acceptance speech. “But I can tell you something having been on every 110 EL stop, on 110 platforms when it’s 20-below windchill.
“Because of the people of Chicago, this is the warmest place in America.”
With all the difficulties Emanuel faces in the city right now, let’s hope he feels the same way about Chicago residents come next election.