Chicago, IL -
Former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel has been elected mayor of Chicago, the Associated Press projected Tuesday evening. Emanuel succeeds Mayor Richard M. Daley, who ends his 21-year career as one of the nation's most gay-friendly mayors.
"Thank you Chicago," Emanuel tweeted around 8:10 p.m. "Looking forward to working together as your next mayor."
Emanuel, who was the front-runner in the Chicago mayoral race, was a favorite in Chicago's gay community.
"I think our city is an accomplished city, the LGBT community is a central part of our city," Emanuel said during a January press conference at the Center on Halsted
where he announced the support of over 200 LGBT community leaders and advocates, including openly gay state Rep. Greg Harris (D-Chicago) and state Rep. Deborah Mell (D-Chicago).
Emanuel also picked up the endorsements of Equality Illinois
PAC and the national LGBT advocacy group Human Rights Campaign.
"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.
While serving in Congress, Emanuel maintained a 100% rating from HRC.
With 89 percent of precincts counted, Emanuel had 54.9 percent to 24.3 percent for Gery Chico, putting him far enough ahead to avoid a runoff election in April. Chico called Emanuel on Tuesday evening to concede the race.
"We've elected a mayor tonight," Chico told supporters.