WaPo profiles the man who may keep Rahm under 50% on Tuesday and therefore be the other candidate in a runoff with him. That being Jesus Garcia, a Mexican-American who currently sits on the Crook County council:
But Garcia is pushing an even higher minimum wage. Backed by the Chicago Teachers Union, which has clashed sharply with Emanuel, most notably in a 2012 strike, he has blasted the mayor’s controversial decision to shutter more than 50 elementary schools to close a budget deficit. And he wants to replace the city’s appointed school board with an elected one.
That’s the key takeaway. The only real political force in Chicago that’s all in against Rahm is the CTU, who have a personal axe to grind against him. Then again, were they expecting Rahm to wave a magic wand and defeat fiscal reality to keep a bunch of schools with declining attendance open just so CTU members could continue having jobs? Garcia is nothing more than the CTU’s weaponized sock puppet to get revenge against Rahm.
Garcia also is competing hard for black voters. He has touted his close ties to the late Harold Washington, the city’s first black mayor. Garcia was Washington’s deputy water commissioner and remained a close ally as an alderman.
He also has raised concerns about crime under Emanuel’s watch, decrying “10,000 shootings in the last four years” in a TV ad.
Still, according to a Chicago Tribune poll released this week, Garcia is carrying only 13 percent of the black vote.
A Mexican-American is only getting 13% of the black vote? That should set off a whole lot of alarms in the Coalition of the Ascendant.
Ensuring strong turnout among Hispanic voters is a key component of Garcia’s strategy. He spent Tuesday afternoon canvassing taquerias in Little Village, the Mexican American enclave where he grew up, making his pitch in Spanish and English, posing for selfies with supporters, and making small talk with the lunchtime crowd.
So Garcia has been relying on his mustache, which has taken on a life of its own, and his nickname, Chuy, a Mexican moniker for Jesus, to sharpen his public profile without dishing out the money normally required to boost name recognition.
And that’s dangerous for two reasons: One, the ZOMG GREAT HISPANIC VOTER TIDAL WAVE LOL~!!!!!1 is a paper tiger. The only reason Luis Gutiérrez has a job is that his district is bizarrely gerrymandered so that the only kind of voters in it are Hispanic. And that alludes to the other thing: Most Chicago Hispanics, Gutiérrez included, are Puerto Rican, with a smattering of Dominicans. How motivated are PRs and DRs going to be to go out and vote for someone who keeps running around yammering about Mexico Mexico Mexico?
Speaking about Emanuel’s opponents, Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez (D-Ill.), an Emanuel convert who didn’t back him in 2011, said, “They are very articulate about what they dislike about Rahm. But they are very scarce on plans for the future of the city of Chicago and most important, how you’re going to pay for it.”
Like I said…
Even if there is a runoff, I don’t think Rahm will have much of a problem in it. And the only reason there would be a runoff is if black voters have both a low turnout and don’t give Rahm the absolute majority of their vote like they did in 2011.
And whenever Rahm scores a big win over Garcia, either on Tuesday or in the later runoff, here will be the perfect headline for whichever Chicago paper has the balls:
JEW CLOBBERS JESUS