BREAKING: Rahm Emanuel Projected As Winner of Chicago Mayoral Election

Posted: Feb 22, 2011 9:10 PM
As a certain sitting Vice President might say, this is a big f-ing deal:

Rahm Emanuel is closing in tonight on the majority he needs to become Chicago's next mayor.

With 86 percent of precincts counted, Emanuel had 54.9 percent to 24.3 percent for Gery Chico.  Emanuel is trying to score more than 50 percent to avoid a runoff election on April 5.  City Clerk Miguel del Valle had 9.4 percent and former U.S. Sen. Carol Moseley Braun was at 8.7 percent.

Emanuel is holding his election night party at a Near West Side union hall. The Black Eyed Peas' "I Gotta Feeling" played in the background as early election results came in.  A small crowd cheered as returns showed Emanuel over 50 percent and leading competitors with a wide margin.

It's not quite official yet, but Rahm's ascendancy appears to be a fait accompli at this hour. 

UPDATE:  Done deal, according to CNN and AP.  Mayor Rahm.