Former Obama aide Valerie Jarrett says she won’t run for Chicago mayor

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CHICAGO — Former presidential aide Valerie Jarrett says she will not join the political scrum developing to replace Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Jarrett, who served as a special aide to Barack Obama, says she is “humbled and honored” to see herself named as a potential candidate for mayor. However, she said she is not going to run.

A dozen candidates were running to lead the nation’s third-largest city even before Emanuel’s surprise announcement Tuesday. By Wednesday the list of people said to be weighing bids seemed to multiply by the hour.

Among the most high-profile names being discussed were former Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Bill Daley, who succeeded Emanuel as Obama’s White House chief of staff. None of them were commenting publicly.

Jarrett said she will endorse and actively support a candidate for mayor with a proven track record of effective leadership.

In a statement, Jarrett said:

    • I’m proud to call Chicago my home – I grew up in the city and raised my daughter here, served in regional government under three mayors, and have seen firsthand the power of civic engagement. I’ve been deeply humbled and honored to see my name appear as a potential candidate for mayor of our incredible city, but I am not going to run. I will continue to devote my public service to advancing gender and racial equity, protecting civil rights, reforming our criminal justice system, encouraging voter registration and voting, and furthering the critical mission of the Obama Foundation to inspire and prepare the next generation to lead. I will endorse and actively support a candidate for mayor with a proven track record of bold and effective leadership who I believe is prepared to unify and expand opportunity for all in the greatest city in the world at this critical time. In the meantime, I will work to serve our city outside of public office, and I hope all Chicagoans will join me in the most important role of all: Citizen.

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