Mayor Emanuel kicks off re-election campaign

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Rahm Emanuel officially launched his re-election bid for Chicago mayor Saturday.

Speaking at an event at West Side film studio "Cinespace," Emanuel emphasized his vision of a new Chicago, promoting better transportation, education and a higher city minimum wage that recently passed.

"Earlier this week we raised the minimum wage to $13 an hour. Washington wouldn't do it, Springfield couldn't do it, but we did," Emanuel said.

Pension obligations in Chicago still loom large, as the city's obligations have ballooned to $37.3 billion — a more than three-fold increase since 2003.

In his first term Emanuel also notoriously crossed paths with the Chicago Teachers Union, which led to teachers walking off the job two years ago, the first teachers strike in decades.

But as his re-election push kicked into gear, Emanuel maintained his reputation as pit-bull campaigner who is never afraid of the fight.

"With determination and courage we will make Chicago work for everyone,” Emanuel said.

Emanuel seeks re-election while his approval ratings have been sinking of late. While the mayor enjoyed approval ratings of 50 percent a little more than a year ago, those numbers are now down to about 35 percent.

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