Rahm Emanuel has recruited Michael Ruemmler to run his re-election campaign for mayor of Chicago, Ward Room confirms.
The 33-year-old Ruemmler is Emanuel's chief of staff for legislative affairs and previously worked on his 2011 mayoral campaign. Highly respected at City Hall, the veteran political aide -- who hails from Mount Vernon, Ill. -- was a key player on Barack Obama's election crew in 2008 and continued with the Obama Administration for two years before moving from DC to Chicago to lead Emanuel's advance team.
Emanuel, meanwhile, faces a tough re-election battle here despite an incumbency advantage, national name recognition and a vast network of wealthy Democratic donors.
Though no challenger has entered the race, the mayor's future here remains a question mark amid mounting criticism over his blunt bedside manner and controversial policies on education and pension reform.
Earlier this week, Emanuel pulled off back-to-back victories by getting Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn to sign his hotly contested pension bill for Chicago laborers and municipal employees, and appearing alongside Hillary Clinton for a successful event during which the hometown heroine praised his decision to lengthen the school day for public schoolchildren.