(CNN)Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is headed into a runoff to hold onto his seat after failing to snag more than half the vote in the first round Tuesday.
Rahm Emanuel faces runoff in Chicago to stay mayor
Emanuel, a former congressman who served as President Barack Obama's first chief of staff, took 45% of the vote as his four major opponents took enough votes to keep Emanuel just five points short of the threshold to avoid a runoff. Emanuel will now face Jesus "Chuy" Garcia, a county commissioner who has come to embody populist and liberal Democrats' frustrations with the Chicago incumbent.
Garcia took just under 34% of the vote, according to the Chicago Board of Elections.
Emanuel's defeat came despite a last-minute campaign stop from Obama just five days before voters headed to the polls. And Obama also voiced a radio ad for Emanuel that began airing last month.
"Before Rahm was a big-shot mayor, he was an essential part of my team at the White House during some very hard times for America and I relied on his judgment every day, and his smarts every day, and his toughness every day," Obama said last Thursday.
But Garcia -- with the help of the other contenders -- was able to chomp off enough support to win a one-on-one race against Emanuel, which will come to a head in early April when Chicago voters again head to the polls.
Emanuel's faced stiff opposition from the teacher's union, who endorsed Emanuel's opponent. Emanuel had to shutdown dozens of Chicago schools and faced off with teachers during a 2012 strike in a manner reminiscent of his days as a pitbull on Capitol Hill.
And Emanuel's campaign efforts come against a backdrop of continued violent crime in Chicago, which Emanuel has struggled to stamp out.
"We have come a long way and we have a little bit further to go. This is the first step in a real important journey in our city," Emanuel told a crowd of supporters as projections came in Tuesday night. "For those who voted for someone else, I hope to earn your confidence and your support in the weeks to come."