Chi. Gay Vote Helped Emanuel

Chi. Gay Vote Helped Emanuel

Chicago’s LGBT voters were key to the election of Rahm Emanuel as mayor, Chicago Sun-Times columnist Laura Washington observes in a piece published Monday.

Although some activists thought Emanuel too cautious on LGBT rights during his tenure as an aide to presidents Obama and Clinton, gay voters supported Emanuel out of pragmatism, journalist Tracy Baim tells Washington.

LGBT residents concluded that the feisty Emanuel will be “a pit bull for Chicago,” says Baim, publisher and executive editor of Windy City Times, the city’s leading LGBT newspaper. She adds that Emanuel’s gay supporters think “he’s good for our city. He’s not perfect, but he’s good.” Also, she says, they did not see “a truly galvanizing alternative” to Emanuel among the mayoral candidates.

In the three wards with the largest LGBT population in the city, Emanuel won more than two thirds of the vote, Washington reports. He was endorsed by major local, state, and national gay groups.

Emanuel, elected in February, will be sworn in next month, succeeding Mayor Richard M. Daley, a longtime LGBT ally who decided not to seek reelection after 22 years in office.

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