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Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel Faces Runoff In Re-Election Bid

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, center, and 8th ward Alderman Michelle Harris, right, join phone bank workers Tuesday on Election Day in Chicago. Emanuel was unable to clear 50 percent in the race, triggering a runoff election against a fellow Democrat in April.

Amid light turnout, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel appears headed for a runoff in his re-election bid, the Associated Press reports.

NPR member station WBEZ reports that, with 81 percent of precincts reporting, the former congressman and chief of staff for President Obama leads with 46 percent of the vote, followed by Democratic Cook County Commissioner Chuy Garcia with 34 percent.

The runoff election is scheduled for April 7.

The AP reports a number of problems that created a drag on Emanuel's campaign:

"On the campaign trail, Emanuel said his first term saw some tough decisions and payoffs, including budgets that didn't rely on property tax increases, drawing business to the city, getting a longer school day and raising the minimum wage.

"But his critics pointed to some of more tumultuous parts of his time in office, including the city's first teachers' strike in 25 years. The following year in 2013, he pushed for the closure of dozens of schools to save money, which angered parents and activists throughout the city's neighborhoods."

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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