Rahm Emanuel has been elected to succeed longtime Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, accruing enough votes on Feb. 22 to avoid a run-off election in April.
The former White House Chief of Staff under President Barack Obama won 55 percent of the vote to easily defeat runner-up Gery Chico. He will be inaugurated in May as Chicago's first Jewish mayor.
Emanuel, a Democrat, almost didn't get his name on the ballot after an Illinois Appeals Court ruled that he did not meet the residency requirements to run for office. However, the State's Supreme Court determined that Emanuel could remain on the ballot even though he spent most the previous year in Washington, D.C.
CBS News reported that Emanuel's victory celebration will be short-lived because he will soon inherit a city plagued by violent crime, a budget deficit and under-performing schools. Emanuel faces an uphill battle for support from certain union groups, including firefighters and police. According to The Huffington Post, one of Emanuel's campaigns ads earlier this month implied that some city employees work for personal gain rather than public service.
"We dedicate our lives to protecting and serving the citizens of this city," said Tom Ryan, president of Firefighters Union Local 2, quoted by the media outlet. "We run into burning buildings. We ride snowmobiles in the middle of blizzards to save lives. We don't [need] Emanuel to remind us that we are 'actually' public servants."