Official: Emanuel would leave 'relatively soon' if he runs for mayor

A senior White House official said Friday that Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel would have to leave Washington quickly should he choose to run for mayor of Chicago.

"He's still working this through," the official told the Wall Street Journal, adding that if Emanuel does choose to seek the mayorship, he'll "leave relatively soon because there are filing deadlines and there's work to do."

Speculation that Emanuel could leave the administration began last week when Chicago's 21-year mayor Richard Daley announced that he would not seek another term.

Emanuel's long-time pollster in Chicago has already begun to test the waters for his potential candidacy. The election would be Feb. 22, and the filing deadline is Nov. 22.

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