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Embattled Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel won't seek re-election

By Nicholas Sakelaris
Embattled Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel won't seek re-election
Mayor of Chicago Rahm Emanuel speaks to members of the media at Trump Tower in New York City on December 7, 2016. Emanuel announced this week he will not seek re-election. Pool file photo by John Taggart/UPI | License Photo

Sept. 4 (UPI) -- After denying rumors for months, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced Tuesday that he wouldn't seek a third term next year.

"I've decided not to seek re-election," Emanuel said in a prepared statement. "This has been the job of a lifetime, but it is not a job for a lifetime."

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Emanuel has been Chicago's mayor for 8 years and already raised $10 million toward his re-election campaign, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Emanuel, a former chief of staff for President Barack Obama, has endured years of turmoil and scrutiny as mayor of the third largest city in the country.

The announcement comes just as the high-profile trial of Jason Van Dyke begins. The Chicago police officer shot Laquan McDonald 16 times in 2014. Emanuel's refusal to release video of the shooting thrust him into the spotlight and made him unpopular in the city's African-American community. The video's eventual release prompted a murder charge against Van Dyke.

David Axelrod, a friend of Emanuel who also served in the Obama administration, said he wasn't surprised by the decision. But Axelrod added he was confident that Emanuel would have won another term.

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"He didn't make this decision lightly," Axelrod told the Chicago Sun-Times. "He obviously loves the job and he felt confident he could win another term ... but it really came down to did he have four more years left in him? I admire him for making such a hard decision."

A dozen candidates are seeking to become the city's next mayor.

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