Black Voters' Disenchantment Could Mean Trouble For Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel

Rahm Emanuel, mayor of Chicago, speaks during an Aspen Institute event in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013. (Pete Marovich/Bloomberg via Getty Images) | Bloomberg via Getty Images

CHICAGO – Rahm Emanuel won election as mayor of Chicago three years ago in part because of his strength in the African-American community, but enough black voters have since soured on him that a black labor leader is emerging as a potential rival in the city’s February election.
Emanuel easily won the majority of voters in every African-American ward in 2011 to become mayor of Chicago, the nation’s third-largest city. Since then, a persistently high murder rate, the closing of 50 public schools and a sense that Emanuel is out of touch have hurt his position and invited a bid from Karen Lewis, president of Chicago’s teachers’ union.
Any candidate for mayor other than Emanuel, who served at President Barack Obama’s first chief of staff, would start with a financial disadvantage. The mayor has taken advantage of his popularity with the city’s business community and his national profile to raise more than $8 million in campaign funds.
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