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North Side Voters Send Mixed Messages About Rahm

By Patty Wetli | April 9, 2015 10:15am

LINCOLN SQUARE — If North Side voters sent a message to Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Tuesday, it was a confusing one.

What to make, for example, of the 32nd Ward?

In February, residents re-elected Ald. Scott Waguespack, one of Emanuel's most vocal critics, with a whopping 79 percent of the vote.

On Tuesday, they broke big for Rahm, favoring the mayor by a 22 percent margin over challenger Jesus "Chuy" Garcia.

A similar story played out in the 45th Ward, where Ald. John Arena, another strong Emanuel foe, was returned to the council for a second term after a heated runoff race.

Perhaps they enjoy the spats between Arena and Emanuel, because those same voters gave the mayor another four years, 58.9 percent to Garcia's 41.1 percent.

Over in the 33rd Ward, Emanuel-backed Ald. Deb Mell eked out a victory in February but voters switched tactics on Tuesday, with Garcia besting Emanuel 56.2 percent to 43.8 percent.

Between February and Tuesday's runoff, a sizable number of voters in the 47th Ward appear to have experienced a major change of heart.

Lukewarm on Emanuel less than two months ago — the mayor captured just 51.5 percent of the ward's ballots in February — voters proved much fonder the second time around. Eleven percent fonder, to be precise, with Rahm nabbing 62.5 percent of the vote to Garcia's 37.5 percent.

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