Rep. Danny Davis isn't backing an opponent of former White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel because of ideology — it's about who can best help the city of Chicago, the Illinois Democrat said Thursday.

Davis, who in a surprise move decided to endorse Emanuel opponent and former Sen. Carol Moseley Braun (D-Ill.) once he dropped out of the mayoral race, said today that he was backing Braun because she was best choice among the mayoral candidates.

"I always say that just having an ideology is not good enough," Davis said today with Braun at his side and reporters surrounding him. "You've also got to be able to put it into practice. The reality for me is that I want to see Carol Moseley Braun elected mayor of the city of Chicago because I think she's going to do the best, not only for this neighborhood where I live, but she's going to do the best for the entire city."

The endorsement is a coup for Braun who, along with City Clerk Miguel Del Valle and former Chicago Public Schools President Gery Chico have lagged behind the Emanuel in the polls. A recent poll found Emanuel approaching the 50 percent mark among Chicago voters. That number is especially important for all the candidates because if no one can win 50 percent on their own, the top two candidates compete in a runoff election.

The election is on Feb. 22.