Richard M. Daley, the longest-serving mayor in Chicago’s History will not seek an unprecedented seventh term. Daley who followed his father Richard J. Daley to Chicago city hall in 1988.
Daley made his announcement on Tuesday at City Hall press corp offices in the Loop. Daley surrounded by His Wife Maggie and Friends and Supporters he said,”time for me, it’s time for Chicago to move on.”From Chicago Breaking News Center: Chicago Tribune/WGN News/CLTV/ WGN AM 720
Daley continues: “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 do,” he said. “But today, I am announcing that I will not seek a 7th term as mayor of the city of Chicago.
“Simply put, it’s time,” said Daley, 68. “Time for me, it’s time for Chicago to move on.”
The Mayor passion was and is improving Chicago:
“improving Chicago has been the ongoing work of my life and I have loved every minute of it. There has been no greater privilege or honor than serving as your mayor.
“Working alongside seasoned professionals, incredibly committed business and community leaders, and some of the most dedicated public employees you will ever expect, I have had the opportunity to expand, to build, to create, unite and compromise for the betterment of Chicago.”
“I am deeply grateful to the people of this city, more grateful than I can fully express,” Daley said. “I have given it my all. I have done the best.
“Now, I am ready with my family to begin the new phase of our lives. In the coming days, I know there will be some reflecting on my time as mayor. Many of you will search to find what’s behind my decision. It’s simple. I’ve always believed that every person, especially public officials, must understand when it’s time to move on. For me, that time is now,” he said. “The truth is that I’ve been thinking about this for the last several months. And in the last several weeks, I’ve been increasingly comfortable with my decision. It just feels right.”
“For the next seven months, I assure you I will work as hard as I have for the past 21 years, for all the people of Chicago,” he added.
Daley over his 20 plus year as Mayor he won election easily and weak opposition.
The news rocked the Chicago, the state of Illinois and the political world. Many in Chicago and Cook County express Shock and Surprise at the news. From ABC 7 News:
“It’s a surprise because there’s been a Daley in the political system for so long,” said Alan Gitelson, a Loyola University of Chicago political science professor. “There’s always been this presence. It’s been really part and parcel, part of the identity of the city to have a Daley in the mayor’s office.”
Many city officers and workers have praise for Daley:
“[Daley was] a mayor for the people,” said Business Affairs and Consumer Protection Commissioner Norma Reyes. “He told the public before he came and told us.”
“He’s just given so much to the city that I think we all should be grateful and appreciative,” said Aviation Commissioner Rosemarie Andolino. “I know I am, of what he taught me, and I’m just honored to have been able to work for the city.”
“It is a sad day that someone of his stature has decided to end his contribution and has decided that it is time to move on, but it’s understandable,” said school board president Mary Richardson-Lowry. “He’s done an extraordinary job.”
“He’s been just a fantastic mayor, a fantastic leader, a wonderful boss and I know everybody in Chicago is going to miss him, but we’ll all work to make a transition very smooth and orderly,” said Chicago Corporation counsel Mara Georges.
Politicos including President Barack Obama and Former Illinois Governor Jim Thompson hold him high esteem:
President Obama called him on Tuesday with his regards Daley said that Obama “said I did a wonderful job; this city’s a global city – he’s very proud of the city and very proud of the 21 years that we’ve accomplished, especially in education.”
Former Illinois Governor Jim Thompson who was in office when Daley was first elected said, “You look back over the 21 years and Rich Daley has been a great mayor. He has literally transformed the city of Chicago,” said Thompson. “No subsequent mayor will ever acquire the power that Mayor Daley has exercised, like his father before him.”
Cook County Clerk David Orr says the political landscape in Chicago “changes enormously” after Mayor Richard Daley’s announcement that he won’t run for reelection.
Orr told WBBM radio on Tuesday that now “many political people will be focused on the mayor’s seat.” Orr says there’s going to be much “scheming and planning.”
Gov. Pat Quinn says he was shocked by Richard Daley’s announcement that he wouldn’t run for a seventh term as Chicago mayor in next year’s city election. Quinn praised Daley on Tuesday as a “great guy” and a “great mayor.”
The governor says he wishes Daley and his wife, Maggie, “nothing but the best.”
Quinn says he thinks Daley and his wife “are the heart of Chicago.” He says the Daleys love Chicago and have “servants’ hearts.”
Quinn says he has no clue about what was behind Daley’s decision.
The Rev. Jesse Jackson says Mayor Richard Daley’s job has grown increasingly difficult with the bad economy and violence in the city.
Like others, the civil rights leader says he was shocked by Daley’s sudden announcement Tuesday that he would not seek a seventh term. He speculates the city’s losing bid for the 2016 Olympics and high-profile episodes of violence in the city weighed on Daley’s decision.
Jackson called Daley a coalition builder but said the mayor’s focus had been on downtown development instead of neighborhood development.
U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin says Mayor Richard Daley and his family have put their “hearts and souls” into the city of Chicago. Durbin also says being a big-city mayor is a tough job. The senator says an energized, attractive Chicago “tells the story of Mayor Daley’s record.”
Chicago Tribune speculates who will run for Mayor of Chicago:
Among aldermen discussed as potential mayoral candidates are Robert Fioretti, 2nd; Sandi Jackson, 7th; Thomas Allen, 38th; Scott Waguespack, 32nd; Brendan Reilly, 42nd; and Thomas Tunney, 44th.
Earlier this year, White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel voiced his mayoral ambitions. But the former North Side congressman quickly added that he wouldn’t take on Daley, for whom he served as a strategist and fundraiser in the mayor’s first winning bid. Likewise, Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart said he won’t run for mayor unless the office is open.
Outgoing Cook County Assessor James Houlihan, by contrast, was considered a potential candidate whether or not Daley runs again. Former Chicago Inspector General David Hoffman also has been mentioned, but he just lost a grueling Democratic U.S. Senate primary.