Former Education Secretary Arne Duncan won’t run for Chicago mayor: source

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Arne Duncan, former U.S. Secretary of Education, speaks at the University of Chicago in September 2016. | Santiago Covarrubias/Sun-Times

Remove Arne Duncan’s name from the list of potential candidates for Chicago mayor.

The former Chicago Public Schools CEO who went on to become U.S. Secretary of Education in the Obama Administration is not running, a source close to Duncan said Friday.

Unlike many of the other would-be candidates whose names have been floated, Duncan had not shown any overt interest in joining the race.

But his experience, coupled with his Obama connections and perceived political ambition, had made the Hyde Park native an object of continued speculation in the wake of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s surprise decision to not seek re-election. Until now, Duncan had done little to quell the talk.

Since leaving the White House, Duncan has served as managing partner of the Emerson Collective, where he has developed programs to reduce violence by helping formerly incarcerated young men find employment.

Duncan, who also was a senior fellow at the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy, has recently been promoting a new book, “How Schools Work.”

Duncan led the Chicago Public Schools from 2001 to 2009 under Mayor Richard M. Daley. Daley’s brother, William, plans to announce his campaign for mayor on Monday, a spokesman said.


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