Crusader Staff Report
Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Tuesday, September 4, announced he will not seek re-election, ending a political career that was dogged by community distrust stemming from the Laquan McDonald case whose killer, Jason Van Dyke, is scheduled to stand trial, tomorrow, September 5.
The news came Tuesday morning after the long Labor Day weekend. Emanuel sent a press release, announcing his decision to not run for a third term in the mayoral elections on February 26, 2019.
“Today, the time has come to make another tough choice. As much as I love this job and will always love this city and its residents, I have decided not to seek re-election.
“This has been the job of a lifetime, but it is not a job for a lifetime. You hire us to get things done – and pass the torch when we’ve done our best to do what you hired us to do.
“I have approached public service the only way I know how for the last 23 years—giving 100 percent, 24 hours a day, seven days a week—for President Clinton, in Congress and in its leadership, as President Obama’s Chief of Staff and finally as your Mayor. For the last seven and a half years I’ve given my all every day and left everything on the field. This commitment has required significant sacrifice all around. Now, with our three kids in college, Amy and I have decided it is time for us to write a new chapter together.”
It’s uncertain what prompted Emanuel to decide not to seek a third term. He did not mention the reasons in his press release and with the elections just six months away, there were questions why Emanuel did not announce his candidacy for re-election as his challengers announced their bids for City Hall.
With more than $8 million raised, Emanuel was far ahead of his challengers in campaign donations. Emanuel did not announce his future political plans in his announcement to not run for mayor again.
With large support from corporate donors, the mayor continued to ride out a storm of community distrust and calls for his resignation after a police video was released showing Officer Jason Van Dyke shooting 17-year old McDonald 16 times in 2014. Emanuel had been accused of suppressing the video while campaigning in the Black community, which supported him in a runoff in April 2014 to give the mayor a second term in office.
Emanuel’s stunning announcement leaves a crowded open field of 11 candidates who are vying to be Chicago’s next mayor. Emanuel’s biggest critic, former Police Board President Lori Lightfoot is considered a front runner in the race for mayor.