Chicago voters head to polls to pick Rahm Emanuel successor

CHICAGO (AP) — Voters are getting a chance to pick Chicago’s next mayor from a field of 14 candidates promising to steer the city in a new direction.

Those looking to succeed retiring Mayor Rahm Emanuel include veteran politicians — a couple whose fathers also held elective office — businessmen, former prosecutors and community activists.

It’s likely Tuesday’s vote will lead to a runoff. If none of the candidates receives more than 50 percent of the vote, the top two vote-getters will face off April 2.

The variety of candidates reflects the many issues facing Chicago’s next mayor: poor neighborhoods in need of investment, overwhelming pension debt, low-performing public schools and a crime rate that is often pointed to as among the nation’s worst.

Although a nonpartisan election, most of the candidates have links to the Democratic Party. The Republican Party has virtually disappeared from the city.

By HERBERT G. McCANN , Associated Press