Chicago (CNN) -- Rahm Emanuel, the former chief of staff to President Barack Obama, won the Chicago mayoral election over five other challengers Tuesday, topping the 50% threshold to avoid a runoff vote, CNN projects.
With almost 75% of the vote counted, Emanuel had almost 55% of the vote, far outdistancing his rivals.
Former Chicago School Board head Gery Chico was in second place with 25%, while City Clerk Miguel del Valle had 9% and former U.S. Sen. Carol Moseley Braun had more than 8%. The other two candidates both had less than 2%.
While Tuesday's vote was technically the Democratic primary, there is no Republican contender in the heavily Democratic city, so Emanuel will succeed Richard M. Daley in the top job long associated with the Daley family.
Daley has been mayor since 1989, and his father held the post from 1955-76, making them the two longest-serving mayors in the city's history.
Emanuel, 51, started his campaign in November as a relative unknown to many in his native city, despite having served three terms as a congressman, being a key aide to President Bill Clinton and Obama's chief of staff.