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Many In Connecticut Watching Chicago Election Closely

chicago chuey garcia

Bill Sarno 

It may not be as compelling locally as emerging mayor races in Bridgeport and Hartford or the budget battle in Willimantic, but today’s (Tuesday) first-ever mayoral runoff vote in Chicago is being watched closely by Connecticut political leaders, especially Hispanics, who are waiting to see how a Latino immigrant does against “Obama’s guy.”
Jesus ” Chuy” Garcia, who was born in Durango, Mexico and later moved to Illinois, hopes to rally progressive Democrats to unseat incumbent Mayor Rahm Emanuel, a former aide to Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.
Garcia, as the son of a farm laborer who came to this country under the government’s bracero’s program, represents “an American dream story,” said Joseph Rodriguez, a New Haven Democrat.
Bill Curry has been following the race closely and has his “fingers crossed” for Garcia.  Curry, a former state comptroller who ran twice unsuccessfully for governor against John Rowland, worked in the Clinton administration.  Curry said Monday night that he met Garcia last week in New York and observed, “I think he’s a very impressive candidate and seems like a really decent guy as well.”
Garcia, a Democratic Cook County commissioner who was recruited to replace a stricken Chicago Teachers Union leader on the ballot, took 34 percent in of the vote in February’s nonpartisan mayoral election, and with Emanuel failing to secure 50 percent of the vote, a runoff became necessary.
Speaking for himself, Rodriguez said, “On the surface, … it would be nice to see a Latino become mayor of one of our nation’s largest cities.”
In Willimantic, James Flores, a prominent Latino political activist who is currently focusing on getting people to vote May 12th on the town budget, said however he has been following the Chicago race on Facebook. “I think the Obama guy (Emanuel) may be in trouble,” Flores said.  “What is happening in Chicago is happening all around the country,” Flores added. “People  want new blood, new ideas.”
For Curry, “a Garcia victory would be a historic watershed, not just for Chicago or for Democrats, but for all progressives,” he said in a March 1st article for, an online news and entertainment website.

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