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Emanuel set to run for Chicago mayor

White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, one of President Barack Obama’s most powerful aides, plans to step down on Friday to pursue a run for Chicago mayor, sources familiar with the matter said on Thursday.

White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, one of President Barack Obama’s most powerful aides, plans to step down on Friday to pursue a run for Chicago mayor, sources familiar with the matter said on Thursday.

Obama was to make an announcement at a White House East Room event on Friday. White House spokesman Robert Gibbs would not confirm Emanuel is the subject of the announcement but the sources said Emanuel’s announcement would come on Friday.

Pete Rouse, a senior adviser who is one of Obama’s longest serving aides, is expected to take over the chief of staff position for the time being. Gibbs would not confirm this, but said Obama would be making two announcements and he spoke warmly of Rouse.

“Pete has been with Senator-elect, Senator, President-elect and now President Obama,” Gibbs told reporters. “There is a complete loyalty and trust with somebody like Pete.”

Mayor Richard Daley’s decision earlier this month to not seek re-election on Feb. 22 leaves the door open for a run by Emanuel, the hard-charging former ballet dancer who has helped guide the direction of Obama’s presidency.

Emanuel, who worked in Bill Clinton’s White House in the 1990s and served as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Illinois, has made no secret of his interest in the mayoral bid.

 
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