The Gay Vote: Chicago voters head to the polls today

Tue. February 22, 2011 5:40 AM by News Staff

Voters decide who will succeed the gay-friendly Richard M. Daley

Chicago, IL - Today Chicago residents will vote in the Municipal General Election which includes the race to succeed Mayor Richard M. Daley, who ends his 21-year career as one of the nation's most gay-friendly mayors.

Daley has shown historic and unparalleled support for Chicago's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community, who has an undeniably vested interest in today's election. This is also the first time in over two decades that voters will elect a mayor not named Daley, which brings added significance. and the News Network have provided coverage of this historic race since Daley's surprise announcement not to seek re-election in September.

Though does not endorse candidates, writer and contributor Joseph Erbentraut has generated profiles of the four leading candidates in the race for mayor - Rahm Emanuel, Gery Chico, Miguel del Valle and Carol Moseley Braun.

If none of the six candidates scores a majority, there will be an April 5 runoff between the top two finishers.

Emanuel, who received the endorsement of over 200 LGBT community leaders and advocates including openly gay state Rep. Greg Harris (D-Chicago) and state Rep. Deborah Mell (D-Chicago), has approached 50 percent in opinion polls but his numbers have since dropped in recent polling.

Equality Illinois PAC and the Human Rights Campaign have also endorsed Emanuel.

"Rahm Emanuel has articulated a clear vision for the City of Chicago, in which lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people are fully included and involved in every level of governance," PAC chair Art Johnston said.

Voters also will pick a new city clerk, and all 50 City Council seats are up for election.

Polls are open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. For more information and polling places visit