BY ABDON M. PALLASCH and FRAN SPIELMAN, Chicago Sun-Times
Rahm Emanuel was elected mayor of Chicago on Tuesday by building a coalition so broad-based, he says it empowers him to confront Chicagoâ€™s daunting problems.
â€œWhat makes this victory most gratifying is that it was built on votes from every corner of the city from people who believe that a common set of challenges must be met with a common purpose,â€ Emanuel told cheering fans at Plumbers Hall on the Near West Side.
His wife and three children stood with him.
â€œYou sure know how to make a guy feel at home,â€ Emanuel said, now free to laugh about the residency challenge that almost kept him off the ballot.
Emanuel scored a runaway victory, taking 55 percent of the vote to Gery Chicoâ€™s 24 percent. The former White House chief of staffâ€™s margin of victory was big enough to avoid a run-off and establish an indisputable mandate from just about every geographic and ethnic bloc in Chicago.
Emanuel won 40 wards to Chicoâ€™s 10. Emanuel won all the predominantly black wards.
Emanuel appeared to be the â€œconsensus candidateâ€ of the black community, garnering a larger share of the votes than former Sen. Carol Moseley Braun, who came in fourth behind City Clerk Miguel del Valle. Braun had just under 9 percent, del Valle just over 9 percent.
Braunâ€™s collapse opened the door for Emanuel to claim the black vote and made a run-off impossible.
Chico conceded the election an hour and a half after the polls closed, saying he pledged any help Emanuel may need.
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