Rahm Emanuel has launched his campaign to become mayor of Chicago.
The Jewish politician announced on Friday that he was stepping down from his position as President Barack Obama’s chief of staff.
Mr Emanuel, a former Illinois congressman, also served as a political aide to President Bill Clinton.
In a video statement, Mr Emanuel spoke of his father, who fought for the Irgun in the run-up to Israel’s independence.
He said: “My father came to Chicago as an immigrant from Israel. I was born here – and my wife Amy and I raised our three children here.”
Mr Emanuel, who grew up in Chicago and worked on the current mayor’s first campaign, said: “It was a great honor to work for [President Obama].
“But I’m glad to be home.”
A Facebook page in support of his campaign has already attracted more than 14,000 fans. The mayoral election will take place in 2011.