Chicago’s Mayor Richard Daley to Retire, Announces He Won’t Seek Re-election

Chicago’s Mayor Richard Daley to Retire, Announces He Won’t Seek Re-election

Mayor Richard Daley says he will not run for re-election in 2011, saying “It’s time for me, it’s time for Chicago to move on.”  “The truth is I have been thinking about this for the past several months,” Daley said at a City Hall news conference that stunned the city. “In the end this is a personal decision, no more, no less.”

His wife Maggie stood by his side, smiling broadly as the mayor continued: “I have always known that people want you to work hard for them. Clearly, they won’t always agree with you.  Obviously, they don’t like it when you make a mistake.  But at all times, they expect you to lead, to make difficult decisions, rooted in what’s right for them. For 21 years, that’s what I’ve tried to doBut today, I am announcing that I will not seek a 7th term as mayor of the city of Chicago.  Simply put, it’s time.” Daley spoke for less than five minutes and took no questions.

Daley’s decision sets off a major power scramble, following more than 20 years of stifled political ambitions in city politics.  Daley was first elected mayor in 1989 after his failed bid in 1983.  The mayor won re-election every four years since then, always with little to no opposition.

However, the mayor’s administration has been hit by an outbreak of summer violence, a weak economy and a high-profile failure to land the 2016 Olympics.  Dissatisfaction abounds over Daley’s handling of the crime problem, his efforts to rein in government corruption and his backing of a controversial long-term parking meter system lease.

Chicago’s Mayor Richard Daley to Retire, Announces He Won’t Seek Re-election

Slide Show: The Daley Generations Through the Years

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