Ald. Bob Fioretti said Sunday that he was endorsing Mayor Rahm Emanuel because his fiscal policy was best for Chicago.
“Right now our fiscal health for this city is the No. 1 issue,” Fioretti said. “Granted, Chuy’s a nice person, but I don’t think he should be the person to run this city after the election.”
Fioretti denied his support was given in exchange for Emanuel’s help in tapping his extensive list of donors to eliminate Fioretti’s campaign debt.
“I would be endorsing the mayor anyway,” Fioretti said.
Emanuel, standing beside Fioretti at a news conference, said he would support Fioretti’s effort to reach out to his campaign donors and brushed aside any notions of a quid pro quo arrangement, noting that he had done the same for past political opponents, including Gery Chico and Carol Moseley Braun.
Fioretti — one of Emanuel’s fiercest critics who had previously said he would endorse anyone but Emanuel — acknowledged the endorsement would be unpopular with many of his supporters, but was necessary for the financial footing of the city.
“We know the problem, it’s grave. And I don’t believe Mr. Garcia is ready to deal with the issue and problems that face our city here,” Fioretti said. “For me, the candidate is Rahm, and on Election Day, I will be casting my vote for Rahm Emanuel for mayor of our city. And if you’re worried about the financial health of this city, you should do the same.”
Emanuel said the two had a relationship that was not rosy but worked and was based on mutual respect.
“You can disagree without being disagreeable,” Emanuel said.
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Mayoral challenger Jesus “Chuy” Garcia said it would have been nice to receive Fioretti’s endorsement but questioned the benefit for Emanuel at this point in the campaign.
“I don’t know what it means a week out from the election. I think voters have made up their own minds,” Garcia said before walking in the Hellenic Heritage Parade.
Garcia said polling that shows him behind by more than 10 percentage points is wrong.
“The polls have had it wrong from the beginning, this is a tight race, we’ve picked up a lot of steam,” he said.