Rahm Emanuel, Chicago’s mayor and former chief of staff for President Barack Obama, announced on Tuesday that he will not seek a third term in the February 26 election.
Mr Emanuel began serving Chicago as the 55th mayor in the nation’s third-largest city on May 16, 2011. Shortly after taking office, he ordered the shuttering of 50 public schools, the largest mass closure in the nation’s recent history.
His second term brought an onslaught of controversy, mainly over crime. Homicide rates in the city were constantly in the national news, because they seemed uncontrollable year after year.
Controversy surrounded him on all ends, including calls for him to be fired over the police shooting of Laquan McDonald in 2015.
In campaigning—and even in announcing his withdrawal—he touted his education record, including one plan he has had for some time: making full-day preschool available to all 4-year-olds in the city by the 2021-22 school year.
“The changes we have made to our school system—universal full-day pre-K, universal kindergarten, and a longer school day and year—will add up to nearly four more years of class time for Chicago’s students,” he said in his remarks. “In the end of the day, what matters most in public life is four more years for our children, not four more years for me.”