Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel Will Not Seek Reelection

Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel (Jim Young/Reuters)

Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel announced on Tuesday that he will not seek reelection next year, reversing course after publicly insisting for the better part of a year that he would run again.

“I’ve decided not to seek re-election,” Emanuel said in announcing the decision. “This has been the job of a lifetime, but it is not a job for a lifetime.”

Emanuel, who has already raised $10 million toward his reelection campaign, cited his desire to spend more time with his wife in explaining his decision.

“Now with our three children in college, Amy and I have decided it’s time to write another chapter together,” he said.

Emanuel’s popularity, particularly among African Americans, plummeted following a federal investigation into the death of Laquan McDonald, a 17-year-old black man who was shot 16 times by a Chicago police officer in 2015. The shooting led to weeks of massive street protests and accusations that city-hall officials conspired to conceal video footage of the incident.

The officer, Jason Van Dyke, is scheduled to stand trial for first-degree murder this week.

The Emanuel administration has also struggled to rein in high levels of violent crime in the city, drawing the scrutiny of the Trump administration and the president himself. More than 70 people were shot in Chicago over the course of one weekend last month, prompting criticism of the administration’s policing-reform efforts.

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