Alderman Bob Fioretti endorses former opponent Rahm Emanuel for mayor

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CHICAGO — Nine days until Election Day, both Chicago mayoral candidates are out, collecting endorsements and trying to collect last-minute undecided votes.

Sunday morning and afternoon were both busy for Mayor Rahm Emanuel and his challenger Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, including a forum sponsored by the NAACP on the city’s West Side.

At one point, some in the audience heckled the mayor, saying their questions about the West Side weren’t being answered. Garcia spoke to the crowd afterward, with a warmer reception. Many of his supporters were in the audience.

The biggest thing to come out Sunday was the endorsement of Mayor Emanuel by his former opponent in the primary. In the past, Ald. Bob Fioretti had said “anyone but Rahm,” but today, a change.

When WGN asked if Fioretti got promises from Emanuel or his supporters for his endorsement, he said:

“I’m reaching out to everyone to retire my campaign debt. Not just one union or any other unions. I have considerable debt. And slowly and surely I will get there to pay it all off,” Fioretti said. “I’ll ask some of his supporters. I’m going to go through everybody. I’ve gotten a lot of promises in the last few days.”

“You can’t in four years make up for 40 years of bad judgement, but I’ve not only been clear about the road here but the road forward,” Emanuel said.

Meanwhile, Garcia side stepped the endorsement question, instead focusing on Election Day.

“It’d be nice to have it. I don’t know what it means, a week out from the election,” Garcia said. “I think voters have made up their own minds into April 7 lots of steam building into our campaign. We have a huge army out there knocking on doors. That’s what will make the big difference in the campaign.

Garcia did pick up an endorsement Sunday from Chicago’s Principals and Administrators Association for his support for an elected school board.

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