WASHINGTON — Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley said Tuesday he won't run for re-election, a move that almost certainly will prompt White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel to head home to seek the job himself.
Emanuel has said repeatedly that he would run for mayor of his home town if Daley decided not to seek another term. Emanuel served as a member of the House of Representatives from Chicago's North Side until he was asked to serve as White House chief of staff by fellow Chicagoan Barack Obama.
David Axelrod, Obama's top political adviser and also a fellow Chicagoan, said he and Emanuel both were shocked by the news that Daley would retire.
"Both of us were a little stunned this afternoon," he said. "We're just absorbing this. We're just absorbing that news."
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He declined to speculate on whether Emanuel would run for mayor.
"Rahm has a lot on his plate," Axelrod said. "He's got a pretty responsible job."
Daley, 68, has served since 1989. A fixture in Chicago politics whose father also served as mayor in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, Daley said it was time to retire.
"I've done my all," Daley said, according to the AP. "I've done my best. Now, I'm ready with my family to begin the new phase of our lives."
"In the end, this was a personal decision, no more, no less," Daley said.
The Feb. 21 Democratic primary is tantamount to election.