US & Canada

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel re-elected

Rahm Emanuel gives the thumbs up during his victory speech after being re-elected Mayor of Chicago at his election night rally in Chicago, Illnois 7 April 2015 Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Mr Emanuel raised large amounts of money for the heavily-contested campaign

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has won re-election after heading off a challenge in a run-off campaign.

Mr Emanuel won 56%- 44% against county commissioner Jesus "Chuy" Garcia.

The former White House chief of staff had campaigned heavily after failing to gain a majority in the initial election.

But he faces a tough next term, including a pensions fight, continuing gang violence and harsh criticism of his education policy.

On Tuesday, Mr Emanuel thanked supporters, saying the campaign would make him "a better mayor".

Mr Emanuel campaigned on his record as mayor, but was forced into a run-off with Mr Garcia, who was backed by teachers' unions.

Image copyright AP
Image caption Mr Garcia said he and his campaign "fought hard for what we believed in"

The Chicago mayor raised far more money than Mr Garcia and had the support of his former boss, President Barack Obama, and argued his opponent would be too inexperienced to handle the city's financial difficulties.

Mr Garcia, who was born in Mexico and raised in Chicago, is a county commissioner who jumped into the mayor's race in October after another likely candidate, Chicago Teachers' Union President Karen Lewis, was diagnosed with brain cancer.

During the campaign, Mr Garcia and three other challengers criticised Mr Emanuel's push to close dozen of schools and his large fundraising operation.

"We didn't lose today, we tried," Mr Garcia told supporters after the loss. "We fought hard for what we believed in. You don't succeed at this or anything else unless you try."

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