White House Press Aide Departs to Join Emanuel Mayoral Campaign

Posted October 6, 2010 at 9:24am

Updated: 11:36 a.m.

Ben LaBolt, one of a handful of press aides to President Barack Obama, is leaving the White House later this month to work for Rahm Emanuel’s mayoral campaign in Chicago.

LaBolt, a native Chicagoan, will serve as the communications director on Emanuel’s campaign. He said it is “tough to leave” but that he “had to jump at the opportunity” and plans to leave sometime “after next week.”

LaBolt is the first on the White House press team to depart since Obama took office. He previously served as Obama’s press secretary when he was in the Senate and worked on his presidential campaign. Before that, he was press secretary for Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.).

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, who has worked with LaBolt for almost four years, said he expects his departing colleague to be gone “on a short-term basis.”

“I have a feeling you’ll see Ben back in some capacity,” Gibbs said during a Tuesday briefing.