On Tuesday, Chicago’s voters will go the polls to pick a new mayor—and former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel is betting $12 million dollars and 40 staff members that they’ll pick him. Emanuel’s mayoral campaign easily dwarfs that of the other six candidates on the ballot—all of whom boast budgets and staff a fraction of Emanuel’s size—as does his confidence. When asked why he chose to enter city politics after so much time on the national radar, Emmanuel said, “I think [Chicago is] facing some serious challenges… Every city faces these challenges. I want to be the first to solve them.”
Notably, Emanuel’s been running his campaign sans his trademark pottymouth—and with the help of famous friends like Jennifer Hudson and Jeff Tweedy, both of whom have held fundraisers on his behalf. And despite his considerable cult of personality—with the swearing and bad temper and controversy around his candidacy—Emanuel swears “It’s about governing, not about me,” he says. “The day of reckoning has come. Denial is not a long-term strategy.” Rahm currently leads the pack—which includes former U.S. Senator Carol Moseley Braun—by a margin of two to one.