(WASHINGTON) -- ABC News has learned that White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel is planning to make an announcement on Friday as to whether or not he is leaving his post within the Obama administration to explore a run for mayor of Chicago. Although his decision has not been finalized, Emanuel's likely departure is not a surprise, as his mayoral aspirations have been well known. White House officials expect that President Obama will also name an interim chief of staff, perhaps senior adviser Pete Rouse, at the announcement. The president has been clear that Emanuel had his blessing when the job opened, aides calling it an “unbelievably attractive opportunity” for anyone that the president would support. Emanuel has to declare his intent to enter the race by the Nov. 22nd filing deadline in Chicago. Candidates need to collect 12,500 signatures by that day to qualify for a February 22, 2011 Democratic primary. Emanuel began to seriously consider his run for Chicago mayor when longtime Chicago mayor Richard M. Daly announced earlier this month that he would not seek reelection.
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