I’m preparing to run for Chicago mayor: Rahm Emanuel

Ex-White House chief of staff is preparing to run for mayor of Chicago.

Updated: Oct 04, 2010, 12:51 PM IST

Chicago: Former White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel has announced that he`s preparing to run for mayor of Chicago, a position it was widely known he has long desired.

Emanuel made the announcement in a video posted late yesterday on his website, ChicagoforRahm.com. He had been careful not to launch his candidacy from Washington and headed to Chicago immediately after President Barack Obama announced his resignation on Friday.

In the video, Emanuel said he`s launching a "Tell It Like It Is" listening tour of Chicago.

"As I prepare to run for mayor, I`m going to spend the next few weeks visiting our neighbourhoods - at grocery stores, L stops, bowling alleys, and hot dog stands," Emanuel said.

The two-minute video shows a relaxed Emanuel sitting behind a desk wearing a white shirt that`s open at the collar and a dark jacket. Behind him is a photo of his family and several books.

One of the challenges facing him in a mayoral run is reconnecting with Chicago voters after his time in Washington. Emanuel highlighted his ties to Chicago in the video, noting his three terms representing a North Side district in Congress before serving as Obama`s chief of staff.

"It was a great honour to work for (Obama), but I`m glad to be home," Emanuel said.

Mayor Richard Daley announced last month he will not seek a seventh term.

Emanuel joins a crowded field of Democrats who have announced they`re running for mayor or hinted at it. Among them are Gery Chico, the Chicago School Board president and a close Daley ally; Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart, and State Sen James Meeks, who`s also the pastor of a South Side church.

Before Emanuel`s announcement, Chico called on him to release details about his dealings with former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich`s administration in regard to the US Senate seat once held by Obama.

Blagojevich will be retried next year on federal charges that he schemed to sell the seat. His first trial ended in a mistrial. Emanuel was not called to testify and hasn`t been charged with any wrongdoing.