Chicagoans Head to the Polls in Mayoral Race


Updated Feb. 22, 6:30 p.m. ET

Chicagoans head to the polls on Tuesday to vote for the city’s first new mayor in more than 20 years, and the candidates are in their final push for voters’ support.

On the final day of the race, here is a round-up of some of public media’s coverage of the closely-watched mayoral race in the Windy City:

For the latest in Tuesday’s mayoral election consult WBEZ’s helpful Chicago Election Voting Guide. WBEZ has also posted a place to track results.

Tuesday’s Morning Line has background on the race and more places to track results.

The Candidates

Watch interviews with each of the six mayoral candidates here.

The Debates

Candidates debate the issues on ‘Chicago Tonight‘ a week before the election.

Watch the debate below:

Candidates took a rare opportunity to criticize outgoing Mayor Daley at WTTW’s debate on Feb. 14.

Recidivism, reparations, immigration policy, and agreeing to debate as an incumbent were a few of the topics on the table at this month’s mayoral debates.

The Issues

Chicago is facing a $655 million deficit in 2011. Chicago News Cooperative posted the results of a survey it gave to all six candidates, asking how they plan to handle the budget.

Communities around Chicago have been struggling to keep businesses open and improve infrastructure. The city’s 15th Ward faces the most daunting challenges to the incoming mayor.

Ballots for the 2011 mayoral race feature the names of two Latino candidates for the first time in Chicago’s history. WBEZ takes an in-depth look at the history of Latino politics in Chicago.

Campaign rhetoric heated up last week when a Gery Chico supporter called Rahm Emanuel a “Wall Street Judas” at a campaign rally. Elizabeth Brackett of “Chicago Tonight” reports:

The Voters

WBEZ takes the political pulse of the voters one day before the election.

A poll released less than two weeks before election day showed Rahm Emanuel held 54% of voters’ support.

Watch an interview with the man behind the poll:

Rahm Emanuel

President Obama’s former White House chief of staff has been the most high-profile candidate in the 2011 race. After an appellate court declared Emanuel did not meet residency requirements to run for mayor, the Illinois Supreme Court reversed the ruling just hours before a mayoral debate. WBEZ talks about the fallout of the decision.

Emanuel has raised nearly $12 million for his campaign, almost four times the $3.6 million the race’s next highest fundraiser, Gery Chico, collected. But less than half of Emanuel’s funds come from Chicago addresses.

Top executives at Ticketmaster/Live Nation are among those who have donated to Emanuel at a time when the concert company is looking to expand its presence in Chicago.

Richard Daley

When the new Chicago mayor assumes the position, he or she will be running a city that has been led by the same person for over two decades. WBEZ discusses the challenges of such a transition.

In his 22 years leading Chicago, Daley helped foster new economic growth and beautification projects like The Magnificent Mile, the Art Institute, Navy Pier and Millennium Park. Changing Gears reports on the mayor’s legacy.

Daley reflected on Chicago’s growth and gave parting advice at a recent farewell speech to the Economic Club of Chicago.

WBEZ politics reporter Sam Hudzik filed a video report the day after Daley announced he would not run for re-election:

City Room #4: The Day after Daley from WBEZ on Vimeo.

The Lighter Side

After a long and eventful campaign season, WBEZ lightens the mood with a collection of the candidates favorite jokes.