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Rahm Emanuel is the most prominent name being batted around to replace outgoing Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley. Here are six more potential contenders.

The announcement by Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley Tuesday that he will not seek a seventh term is presenting the city a situation it has not experienced in over 20 years: a free-for-all election Feb. 22 with as many as a dozen candidates expected to seek the top seat at city hall.

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Mayor Daley has reigned relatively without challenge since he took office in 1989, earning him the nicknames “Mayor For Life” and “King Richard.” But with his public approval ratings at an all-time low, a parking meter deal that continues to earn public scorn, his administration pocked with many high-profile corruption scandals, and the city saddled with a $654.7 million budget shortfall, Daley is offering up the keys to a kingdom that, in its current state, will present any candidate a significant challenge to reform.

The best-known contender is White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel who, on a talk show earlier this year, let slip his interest in running for the Chicago mayor’s office should Daley choose not to continue. While he certainly has the war chest to run – $1 million according to the Chicago Sun-Times – his viability as a candidate remains in doubt. Mr. Emanuel may be popular inside the Beltway, but in Chicago he is seen as brash and, having grown up in the city’s posh North Shore suburbs, an opportunist.

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