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Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announces he will not seek re-election

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Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has announced that he will not be seeking a third term in office. Emanuel’s decision comes as surprise, after he announced last year that would be running for re-election. (Joshua Lott/Getty Images)

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel (D) announced Tuesday that he would not run for a third term in the February 2019 election.

What are the details?

At a news conference, Emanuel said, “As much as I love this job and will always love this city and its residents, I’ve decided not to seek re-election. This has been the job of a lifetime, but it is not a job for a lifetime.”

Emanuel’s decision comes as surprise, after he announced last year that would be running for re-election, and has since raised $10 million for his campaign.

Before taking office as mayor, Emanuel served as chief of staff to former President Barack Obama.

Obama issued a statement praising his former adviser on Tuesday, calling Emanuel “a tireless and brilliant public servant.”

“With record job growth and record employment over his terms in office, Chicago is better and stronger for his leadership, and I was a better President for his wise counsel at a particularly perilous time for our country,” Obama said in the statement.

Anything else?

Emanuel has faced several calls for his resignation during his eight years in office, most notably for the scandal surrounding the death of Laquan McDonald during an arrest in 2014 — where accusations followed that Emanuel had covered up the details of the case until after his re-election.

Last month, anti-violence protesters blocked city streets in demonstrations calling for the mayor to resign amid the rising Chicago crime rates.

Currently, a dozen candidates have thrown their hats in the ring to run as Emanuel’s replacement, including former police Superintendent Garry McCarthy, who was fired by Emanuel in 2015.

Former Police Board President Lori Lightfoot is also a contender and slammed Emanuel in August following the city’s most deadly weekend of 2018.

“As mayor, I will confront our city’s gun violence crisis directly and with empathy rather than remain silent as more than 70 people are shot in a single weekend,” Lightfoot told the Chicago Tribune.

“Rahm Emanuel cannot sit this out," she added,  "he’s the mayor, and our city is facing a public health crisis.”

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