Image: Rahm Emanuel Officially Announces His Bid To Become Mayor Of Chicago
John Gress  /  Getty Images
 Former White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, his wife Amy Rule, and their children Leah and Zach wave to the crowd after Emanuel officially announced his candidacy for mayor of Chicago on Saturday.
By
updated 11/13/2010 12:54:53 PM ET 2010-11-13T17:54:53

Rahm Emanuel officially announced Saturday what everyone has known since he quit his job as White House chief of staff, hugged President Barack Obama and returned to Chicago: He's in.

To the surprise of no one, Emanuel, who has long talked about his desire to be mayor, told a packed auditorium at a school on Chicago's North Side that he is running to succeed retiring Mayor Richard Daley. The election is Feb. 22.

    1. Hoffman withdrew $1,200 hours before death: sources

      Philip Seymour Hoffman withdrew a total of $1,200 from an ATM at a supermarket near his New York City apartment the night before he was found lifeless in his bathroom with a syringe still in his left arm, sources told NBC News.

    2. NYC mayor will skip St. Pat's parade over gay ban
    3. Indiana man back home 18 years after abduction
    4. 32 states in the path of another wild storm
    5. Judge vows quick ruling on Va. marriage ban

Emanuel represented the city's North Side in Congress before he went to the White House. He has been actively campaigning in the city since his return about two months ago.

"Only the opportunity to help President Obama as his chief of staff could have pried me away from here," Emanuel said Saturday. "And only the opportunity to lead this city could have pried me away from the president's side."

Since his return, Emanuel also has been courting donors who can add to the $1.2 million left from his congressional campaign fund.

He is one of about a half dozen candidates who have either formally announced or are about to.

  1. Other political news of note
    1. Animated Boehner: 'There's nothing complex about the Keystone Pipeline!'

      House Speaker John Boehner became animated Tuesday over the proposed Keystone Pipeline, castigating the Obama administration for not having approved the project yet.

    2. Budget deficits shrinking but set to grow after 2015
    3. Senate readies another volley on unemployment aid
    4. Obama faces Syria standstill
    5. Fluke files to run in California

State Sen. James Meeks and U.S. Rep. Danny Davis have similar events scheduled Sunday, and former U.S. Sen. Carol Moseley Braun is expected to announce in the next week or so. Former city schools President Gery Chico and City Clerk Miguel del Valle have already declared they're running.

But Emanuel has emerged as the front-runner, in part because of his money and national profile and because other high-profile candidates, such as Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart, have dropped out.

During his announcement speech, Emanuel pledged not to raise taxes and to award city contracts to the lowest bidder.

"Our first responsibility is to make the tough choices that have been avoided too long because of politics and inertia," he said.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Discuss:

Discussion comments

,

Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments