Rahm Emanuel unexpectedly announced on Tuesday that he will not seek a third term as mayor of Chicago, JTA reported.
“As much as I love this job and will always love this city and its residents, I’ve decided not to seek re-election,” said Emanuel, the city’s first Jewish mayor and a former chief of staff of President Barack Obama.
“This has been the job of a lifetime, but it is not a job for a lifetime,” he added.
Chicago will hold elections for mayor in February.
Emanuel served as a congressman in Illinois and as Obama’s chief of staff before being elected as Chicago mayor in 2011.
While Emanuel was in office, Chicago and Israel worked together to combat the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.
The State of Illinois was the first American state to implement legislation against the BDS movement. Emanuel successfully implemented the law in Chicago.
Obama on Tuesday praised Emanuel’s accomplishments as mayor in a statement released after his announcement.
“With record job growth and record employment over his terms in office, Chicago is better and stronger for his leadership, and I was a better President for his wise counsel at a particularly perilous time for our country,” Obama said.
Emanuel is the son of an Israeli father and Jewish-American mother.
In 2012, Emanuel elicited controversy when he accused Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu of publicly supporting Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney in the presidential election, even though Netanyahu did not support Romney in any perceivable way.