Chicago, IL -
Former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel has been elected mayor of Chicago. Emanuel succeeds Richard M. Daley who ends his 21-year career as one of the nation's most gay-friendly mayors.
During his victory speech last night, Emanuel thanked Daley for his lifetime of service, saying Daley "earned a special place in our hearts and our history."
Emanuel, a 51-year-old married father of three, was a favorite in Chicago's gay community where he received 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).
"Rahm Emanuel's election means that Daley's rich legacy of LGBT support in Chicago will continue," Chicago House CEO Rev. Stan Sloan told ChicagoPride.com Wednesday morning. "I'm also hopeful that his election on the first ballot will allow all communities to put the resources that would have been raised for a runoff to use for those in need throughout Chicago."
Sloan was among the 200 community leaders joining in support of Emanuel, who 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 99.5 percent of precincts counted, Emanuel had 55.2 percent to 24 percent for Gery Chico, far enough ahead to avoid a runoff election in April. Miguel del Valle at 9.3 percent and Carol Moseley Braun at 9 percent.
"I want to extend my congratulations to Rahm Emanuel on a well-deserved victory tonight," President Barack Obama said in a statement released Tuesday night. "As a Chicagoan and a friend, I couldn't be prouder. Rahm will be a terrific mayor for all the people of Chicago."
Emanuel becomes Chicago's first Jewish mayor.