By Don Babwin, Associated Press Writer
Chicago (AP) - Two people close to Rahm Emanuel said Thursday he will resign as White House chief of staff on Friday, and will begin his campaign for Chicago mayor by meeting with voters in the city on Monday.
The two people familiar with his plans, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they did not want to pre-empt Emanuel's announcement, said he will return to Chicago over the weekend and begin touring neighborhoods on Monday.
"He intends to run for mayor," one of the people told The Associated Press.
Both people said they did not know when Emanuel would make an official announcement about his mayoral bid but that he would launch a website with a message to Chicago voters in the near future.
Emanuel's plans have been the source of widespread speculation both in Chicago and Washington, D.C. ever since Mayor Richard Daley announced this month he would not seek re-election. In an April television interview, Emanuel had called it "no secret" he'd like to run for mayor.
Daley, who has held the mayor's job since 1989 and carried on a family dynasty, surprised many with his announcement. The choice for Emanuel suddenly became whether he would make a dash for the political job he has openly coveted, at a cost of uprooting his family again and quitting his post of national influence sooner than he thought.
Associated Press White House Correspondent Ben Feller contributed to this report from Washington.
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