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Democrat wins Rahm Emanuel’s Ill. Congress seat

CHICAGO — Democrat Mike Quigley knows that for at least a little while he’ll be known as the guy who replaced Rahm Emanuel, President Barack Obama’s chief of staff, in Congress.

But Quigley, the reform-minded Cook County commissioner who claimed Emanuel’s old seat in a special election on Tuesday, said he wants to strike out on his own quickly.

“I recognize in many respects I will be compared to him and that’s a tough, tough task. It’s extraordinary,” Quigley told supporters at an election night party at a North Side Chicago bar.

“For a while I will be the guy in D.C. that’s recognized as that’s the guy taking Rahm Emanuel’s seat. We will fight very hard to set our own ground, to establish our own credentials.”

Quigley, 50, trounced GOP nominee Rosanna Pulido and Green Party candidate Matt Reichel to win the high-profile 5th Congressional District.

With 99 percent of precincts reporting, Quigley had 30,109, or 69 percent of the vote. Pulido had 10,509 or 24 percent and Reichel had 2,868 or nearly 7 percent.

The district is a Democratic stronghold stretching from Chicago’s wealthy North Side lakefront to ethnic neighborhoods on the northwest side and neighboring Cook County suburbs. It’s the same congressional seat once held by impeached Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich and former House Ways and Means Chairman Dan Rostenkowski.

The win means Quigley will fill the remainder of the two-year term Emanuel won in November before he gave up the seat to follow Obama to the White House.

Quigley told supporters election night what some of his priorities will be in Washington: change, reform, environmental issues, human rights and universal health care.

He joked about the work waiting for him in Congress and how he’ll have to quickly get up to speed.

“The newspapers will say that this is a seat in Congress. To be honest with you, I don’t think I’m going to have time to sit very much,” he said.

Quigley was the favorite after winning last month’s crowded special Democratic primary over 11 other candidates.

Quigley lapped Pulido and Reichel in fundraising and got three times as many votes as all six Republican challengers combined in the primary.

Pulido had counted on a corruption-weary public to back the GOP in the wake of scandals surrounding Blagojevich. But Pulido, 52, was in the race without the backing of national Republicans, support she said she didn’t want.

Pulido, director of the Illinois Minuteman Project, part of a national volunteer civilian border patrol group that wants to stop illegal immigration, also had to apologize for posts on a conservative Web site.

Both the Chicago Sun-Times and the Chicago Tribune endorsed Quigley, praising him for being a reformer in Cook County government where he has served as a commissioner since 1998.

Reichel, a 27-year-old French teacher and translator, said if he didn’t beat Quigley, he wanted to get more votes than Pulido on Election Day. He didn’t.

Voter turnout was low on Chicago’s North Side.

Citizen Online Archive, 2006-2009

This archive contains all the stories that appeared on the Tucson Citizen's website from mid-2006 to June 1, 2009.

In 2010, a power surge fried a server that contained all of videos linked to dozens of stories in this archive. Also, a server that contained all of the databases for dozens of stories was accidentally erased, so all of those links are broken as well. However, all of the text and photos that accompanied some stories have been preserved.

For all of the stories that were archived by the Tucson Citizen newspaper's library in a digital archive between 1993 and 2009, go to Morgue Part 2

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