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EX-BLACK PANTHER LEADER CHALLENGES CHICAGO MAYOR

Rep. Bobby Rush, a former Black Panther leader, announced Monday that he will run against Mayor Richard M. Daley in February in Chicago's first non-partisan election.

Aides to Rush, a Democrat who turned 52 Monday, said he hoped to rebuild the coalition of blacks and white liberals that helped elect the city's first and only black mayor, the late Harold Washington, in 1983.

Rush, who occupies Washington's former congressional seat, made use of the symbolism by announcing his run at a hotel near the place where Washington first declared his mayoral candidacy 15 years ago.

The Feb. 23 election will be the first non-partisan contest in Chicago, where politics has long been dominated by Democrats. The winner must capture a majority or face a runoff against his closest challenger April 13.

Daley, who is expected to announce his candidacy for a third full term soon, was first elected in 1989 after Washington died in office. Daley has won re-election twice without facing a serious challenge.

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