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Chicago election results catapult Rahm Emanuel into mayor's office

No runoff needed: Rahm Emanuel, former US congressman and Obama chief of staff, wins a majority in Chicago election results to succeed longtime Mayor Richard M. Daley.

Former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel speaks at his election night party Tuesday, Feb. 22, in Chicago. Emanuel wins a majority in Chicago election results on Tuesday, to succeed incumbent Richard M. Daley.

Kiichiro Sato/AP

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Rahm Emanuel launched his mayoral campaign here in October shaking hands at El stations, a rush-hour ritual that would become familiar not just to him, but also to most public-transit commuters in Chicago. One-hundred-ten stations and thousands of handshakes later, Mr. Emanuel is mayor-elect of this city.

The former White House chief of staff and Democratic strategist won a hard-fought battle to become Chicago’s 55th mayor, succeeding incumbent Richard M. Daley, who announced in September he would step down at the end of his term.

At a rally held at a union auditorium in the city’s West Loop neighborhood late Tuesday, Mayor-elect Emanuel stood on a stage surrounded by his wife and two children, parents, brother, and local political leaders. At times choking with tears, Emanuel gave a 15-minute speech that outlined his priorities but mainly offered gratitude to supporters and stressed unity among all factions in the city.

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“All I can say is, you sure know how to make a guy feel at home,” he said. “What makes this victory most gratifying is it was built on votes from every corner of this city.”

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