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Rahm barely hangs on to top spot on Chicago Mag’s ‘Power 100′ list

Chicago magazine has put out its annual “Power 100″ list, and there’s a familiar face on top — although Mayor Rahm Emanuel isn’t as comfortably perched atop as he previously has been.

The magazine says “that top spot was by no means a gimme,” for Emanuel, who depending on the outcome of Tuesday’s election, could be facing a runoff.

A number of recent polls have had Emanuel getting less than the 50 percent plus one he needs to win another term outright on Tuesday.

The top reason it cites for why he nearly lost the top spot was “Two Chicagos.”

While he regularly touts the city’s improved economy—rising household incomes, surging construction, booming tourism—Emanuel can’t seem to shake his image as Mayor 1 Percent, who puts downtown corporate interests (think DePaul’s arena) ahead of bettering the lives of everyday residents.

And what could he do to firmly plant himself on top again (besides winning re-election)? Fix the city’s pension crisis, and overcome objections to lure the Obama library to Chicago.

Gov. Bruce Rauner and House Speaker Michael Madigan are in a battle for the No. 2 and 3 spots, with Madigan, “the immovable legislative force known as the Velvet Hammer” ultimately taking the No. 2 spot.

Other notables in the political arena:

  • No. 8: Toni Preckwinkle, Cook County Board of Commissioners president
  • No. 18: Sen. Dick Durbin
  • No. 31: Steve Koch, Chicago deputy mayor
  • No. 36: Garry McCarthy, Chicago Police Department superintendent
  • No. 52: Barbara Byrd-Bennett, Chicago Public Schools CEO
  • No. 53: Diana Rauner, Illinois First Lady and Ounce of Prevention Fund president
  • No. 58: Lisa Madigan, Illinois Attorney General
  • No. 60: Ald. Ed Burke (14th Ward)
  • No. 66: Rep. Tammy Duckworth