Poll shows close race between Emanuel, Garcia

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A new poll finds the Chicago mayoral runoff is a dead heat between incumbent Mayor Rahm Emanuel and challenger Jesus ''Chuy'' Garcia. (WLS)

It's looking like a tight race for Chicago mayor, as a new poll finds the Chicago mayoral runoff is a dead heat between incumbent Mayor Rahm Emanuel and challenger Jesus ''Chuy'' Garcia.

Sen. Mark Kirk is warning about what he says could happen if Emanuel is not re-elected.

"Ultimately this is a choice between two candidates and who has both the strength, the leadership, the perseverance, the plans to meet our challenges head-on and seize the opportunities for the City of Chicago," Emanuel said.

The most recent poll of voters, conducted by Ogden and Fry, shows Emanuel near 43 percent and Garcia near 39 percent with 19 percent undecided and a 3 percent margin of error.

"I'm feeling great about the poll, I expected the poll to go that way and I predict I will continue to rise in the poll, that's why the attacks will sharpen against me," Garcia said.

Some politicians are refusing to choose sides; former mayoral candidate Ald. Bob Fioretti is reserving support - for now.

"I've talked with both of the candidates at this time and I'm going to have a longer sit-down with them in the next few days," Fioretti said.

"Regardless of any individual campaign or support or not support, it is most importantly incumbent upon the individuals, that's why I've been very specific about my ideas, very specific about the record and, most importantly, what it will take to meet our challenges head-on," Emanuel said.

Kirk stops short of an endorsement of Emanuel and takes aim at the only remaining challenger in the runoff election, questioning Garcia's his ability to get Chicago's bond rating up.

"None of them could command the respect of the bond market," Kirk said. "A collapse of Chicago debt, which already happened with Detroit, I think would soon follow if someone who was really inexperienced and irresponsible replaced Rahm."

"We are consulting with foremost expert in municipal finance and pension questions so we are doing our homework, obviously this isn't good news for the City of Chicago, but it also speaks to poor stewardship over the last four years," Garcia said.

One of the other formal mayoral candidates, Willie Wilson, is also reserving support. The mayor met with Wilson for a third time Monday afternoon. Garcia has also met with Wilson, but no endorsements from Wilson have been made yet.
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