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Sources: Rahm will Resign Friday Morning

Two people close to Rahm Emanuel say he will resign as White House chief of staff on Friday, and will begin his campaign for Chicago mayor by meeting with voters in the city on Monday.

The people who are familiar with Emanuel's plans spoke on condition of anonymity because they did not want to pre-empt his announcement.

The people say Emanuel will return to Chicago over the weekend and begin touring neighborhoods on Monday to talk with voters. They say Emanuel also will launch a website with a message to Chicago voters.

To say there's been buzz about Emanuel jumping into the mayoral race would be an understatement.

Even White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs fueled the fire Thursday afternoon when asked about Emanuel.

GIBBS: In the event that the chief of staff were to leave, I assume that it would be because of, say, fairly extraordinary circumstances, like if the mayoral race in one of the largest cities in the country were to happen to be an open seat. 

If - and when - the former Chicago congressman returns to the city, he'll bring with him lots of money - nearly $1.2 million in campaign cash - and a reputation for being able to raise even more.

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