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Emanuel Announces House Resignation

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.) used an automated phone call to let his constituents know he would be resigning his House seat Friday as he prepares for his role in the Obama White House.

"This is Congressman Rahm Emanuel. As you may have heard, President-elect Obama has asked me to be his new chief of staff and I have accepted this offer. Therefore, in the near future, I will be resigning from Congress," Emanuel said, according to a transcript of the call.

Emanuel also wrote a resignation letter to embattled Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D), whose wiretapped conversations with public officials, including Emanuel, are at the core of his corruption case.

"It has been a tremendous privilege to serve the people of the Fifth District over the past six years," Emanuel wrote. "I am grateful for the opportunity to represent the hopes and dreams of a quintessentially American district, from hardworking families to new immigrants to the senior citizens who built this great country. It has been my particular privilege to represent the district's many military troops and veterans, who put their lives on the line to protect the values we cherish. Their sense of duty and sacrifice has been an inspiration, which I will carry with me to my new duties as chief of staff to President-elect Barack Obama."

Emanuel's resignation takes effect Friday, setting the stage for a special election to fill the 5th District seat in the spring.

-- Anne E. Kornblut

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