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Rogers Park Loves Chuy: Only North Lakefront 'Hood to Say No To Rahm

By Benjamin Woodard | April 8, 2015 12:22pm | Updated on April 8, 2015 6:29pm
Jesus "Chuy" Garcia visited the neighborhood on March 30.
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DNAinfo/Benjamin Woodard

ROGERS PARK — Yet again, Rogers Park showed Jesus "Chuy" Garcia some love.

The 49th Ward, encompassing most of the neighborhood, was the only North Side lakefront community to give Mayor Rahm Emanuel's challenger the majority of votes in Tuesday's election, according to preliminary results.

Garcia nabbed 52 percent of votes, holding a 417 vote lead over the incumbent. In all, 10,397 votes were cast.

DNAinfo/Tanveer Ali

The Cook County commissioner did well in February, too, when he held the plurality of votes until a handful of absentee ballots were counted, pushing Emanuel past him.

"Chuy was a force up here," said Michael James, an ardent opponent of Emanuel and president of the Democratic Party of the 49th Ward. "I think we truly are a ward that has historically attracted progressive people."

James said Garcia not only found favor with 49th Ward progressives, but also the Hispanic voters; Garcia's campaign opened a Clark Street office.

On Sunday, hundreds of people came out to a Garcia rally at the Heartland Cafe, a bastion of progressive politics for decades. Activist Cornel West and Cook County Clerk David Orr attended.

The Garcia movement in Rogers Park was mentioned by an unnamed adviser to Emanuel in a New York Times story last month.

"Unless they get the crazy lefty money machine going nationally, it's not going to matter that there's a resurgent left," the adviser told the Times. "The liberals at Heartland Cafe in Rogers Park can think great thoughts and read poetry for Chuy, but nothing else will happen."

In Tuesday's election, the North Side came out heavy for Emanuel — with the exception of Rogers Park. The difference in support stood out in comparison to neighboring wards. In fact, 61.2 percent of voters in the 50th, 48th and 46th wards — a total of 21,638 people in neighborhoods like West Rogers Park, Edgewater and Uptown — voted to keep Rahm in office.

DNAinfo/Tanveer Ali

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