After Calls For His Resignation By Black Activists, Chicago's Mayor Announces He Won't Run For Re-Election

His critics are like: #ByeRahm.

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| September 04 2018,

6:08 pm

It's official: Rahm Emanuel will not be seeking a third term as mayor of Chicago. 

The two-term mayor announced his decision at a City Hall press conference on Tuesday morning, according to ABC Chicago.

"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've decided not to seek re-election," said the current mayor. 

“At the end of the day, what matters most in public life is four more years for our children, not four more years for me.” said Emanuel, using the announcement as a chance to again tout his plan to make having a four-year post-high school plan a graduation requirement for Chicago high school students.

Emanuel didn't cite a specific reason for his decision. The Chicago Tribune reports the mayor initially raised $10 million in hopes to seek a third term before deciding to change his mind.  

Former president Barack Obama, who was also Emanuel's boss during his time in the White House, issued a statement following Emanuel's announcement. 

"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," read the statement.

Emanuel has been criticized by many Chicago organizers and activists regarding his handling of public school closings, his gentrification plans, use of city resources and his administration's handling of the city's epidemic of violence.

Emanuel's announcement also comes the day before police officer Jason Van Dyke's murder trial. Van Dyke shot Laquan McDonald 16 times in 2014, killing him. Despite McDonald's death occurring in 2014, footage of the shooting was released only two years ago. Many believed Emanuel suppressed the footage for political gain.

Emanuel has not officially endorsed another candidate, but streets are certainly watching. There are currently 13 candidates in the running to snag that seat, including Black Lives Matter activist Ja'Mal Green and former Chicago Police Department disciplinarian Lori Lightfoot, who would be the city's first black woman and first openly LGBT mayor. 

"It will fill my eyes with tears to leave a job I love and already my heart is full with gratitude,” said Emanuel. “We've worked together. We've celebrated progress together. And we have grieved together.”

Chicago's mayoral election will be held on Tuesday, February 26, 2019. 

Rahm Emanuel
mayoral election
Barack Obama
Chicago Mayor