Obama's ex-chief of staff announces Chicago mayor bid
US President Barack Obama's former chief of staff Rahm Emanuel on Saturday formally announced his bid for mayor of Chicago, dpa reported.
He stepped down from what is considered to be the second-most important position in the White House on October 1, to prepare to run for mayor of Chicago, a job he has long coveted.
The election will be held February 22, and he hopes to replace current Mayor Richard Daley.
"Because I love this city, the place my family came to, the place where I was born, I want to fight for a better future for all the people of Chicago and that's why today I'm announcing my candidacy for mayor," he told a crowded school auditorium on Chicago's North Side.
Emanuel, a Chicago native, represented Illinois's 5th District in Congress for six years.
"Only the opportunity to help President Obama as his chief of staff could have pried me away from Chicago," Emanuel said. "And only the opportunity to lead this city could have pried me away from the president's side."
With a population of 2.9 million, Chicago is the third-largest US city, and is currently facing a 654.7-million-dollar deficit. The unemployment rate was 10.6 per cent in September, Bloomberg financial news reported.
Emanuel, a long-time Washington insider who had also advised former president Bill Clinton, was known for a hard-nosed and abrasive style.
He is credited with pushing through Obama's signature domestic accomplishments, including an 814-billion-dollar economic stimulus package and major overhauls of health care and financial regulation.