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Chicago Mayor Daley wins fifth term

Daley and wife Maggie celebrate with supporters Tuesday night.
Daley and wife Maggie celebrate with supporters Tuesday night.

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CHICAGO, Illinois (CNN) -- Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley was elected to his fifth consecutive term Tuesday, defeating three challengers by an overwhelming margin.

Daley took 78.5 percent of the vote.

"Once again, you've honored me with your confidence, and once again, I am committed to earning it," Daley said in a brief victory speech that also included a moment of silence for the victims of dual nightclub disasters last week.

The first happened in Daley's own city in the early morning hours of February 17, when a stampede at a nightclub left 21 people dead.

Last Thursday, a fire at a nightclub in Rhode Island claimed the lives of 97 people.

"All Chicago grieves for the victims and their families, as well as the victims and families of the tragedy in Rhode Island," Daley said.

He thanked the crowd for supporting him after the recent death of his mother, Eleanor "Sis" Daley, a matriarch of Chicago politics. The widow of the late mayor Richard J. Daley -- who served 21 years in office -- she was also the mother of former U.S. Commerce Secretary William Daley.

A former state senator and county prosecutor, Daley was elected mayor April 4, 1989, to complete the term of the late Harold Washington. He was re-elected in 1991, 1995 and 1999 by overwhelming margins.

"I believe today, as I have from the start, that we can only achieve that progress together as one city, united in our mission to make our schools, our streets safer, and all of our neighborhoods better places in which to live and raise our families," Daley said.

"That's why I take particular pride in the fact that Chicago is united today, and that our victory was built in every community."

Daley said he would not rest as he builds on his accomplishments of the past 14 years, saying his focus is on "the unfinished business." Crime, education and neighborhood development have been the key issues of his career.

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