Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley announced today that he will not seek re-election in 2011, potentially opening the door for another familiar Chicago politician to seek the office of mayor. Daley cited "personal reasons" for his decision to step down at the end of his term.
"I have always known that people want you to work hard for them. Clearly, they won't always agree with you. Obviously, they don't like it when you make a mistake. But at all times, they expect you to lead, to make difficult decisions, rooted in what's right for them. For 21 years, that's what I've tried to do," he said. "But today, I am announcing that I will not seek a 7th term as mayor of the city of Chicago.
"Simply put, it's time," said Daley. "Time for me, it's time for Chicago to move on."
Former Illinois Congressman and acting White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel has signaled his interest in running for the city's executive seat. In April, Emanuel told CBS' Charlie Rose that he would support Daley if he sought re-election, but noted that if the mayor stepped down that he would like to fill his shoes. "I miss the contact with constituents," he said. "I miss... running the office, that touch with people."
Daley, a Democrat, was on track to become Chicago's longest-serving mayor, having held the position since 1989. "For the next seven months, I assure you I will work as hard as I have for the past 21 years, for all the people of Chicago." Daley's father, Richard M. Daley, served as mayor from 1955 'til he died in 1976. Democrats have uninterruptedly ruled the Windy City from the mayor's office since 1931.