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Washington (CNN) - Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley announced Tuesday that he will not seek another term as the mayor of the city he has led for more than two decades. Daley announced his decision during a press conference at City Hall. "Now I am ready with my family to begin a new phase of our lives," Daley said, noting that he had considered the decision over the course of the last several months. "I have always believed that every person, especially public officials, must understand when its time to move on," Daley said. "For me, that time is now."
White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel has in the past expressed interest in the job, telling Charlie Rose of PBS in April that, "[O]ne day I would like to run for mayor of the city of Chicago. That's always been an aspiration of mine even when I was in the House of Representatives." In a statement released Tuesday, Emanuel did not indicate whether he will pursue the seat, but did say he was surprised by Daley's decision. "While Mayor Daley surprised me today with his decision to not run for reelection, I have never been surprised by his leadership, dedication and tireless work on behalf of the city and the people of Chicago," Emanuel said. With the election to be held early next year, Emanuel will have to decide quickly whether to stay at the White House or launch a bid for the office.