The Chicago Coalition for Mayor announced on Saturday that it had chosen U.S. Rep. Danny Davis, a longtime congressman and Chicago politician, as the candidate it would back in the Feb. 22, 2011 mayoral race.

Davis unsuccessfully ran for mayor against Richard M. Daley in 1991.

The announcement comes after weeks of mostly private meetings of the loosely formed group, which came together after Daley announced Sept 7, that he wouldn’t seek a seventh term.

The Chicago City Council’s black caucus started the process to select one consensus candidate with the hope that the African-American vote wouldn’t be split. It then expanded to include various individuals, including elected officials, religious groups and business owners.

Davis’ selection, announced via press released by the Coalition on Saturday, was a surprise to some, given that a week earlier he was not one of the coalition’s two finalists.

Davis, a former 29th Ward alderman, had been one of four finalists, along with state Sen. James Meeks, U.S. Sen. Carol Moseley Braun and Cook County Board of Review Commissioner Larry Rogers. The list narrowed to Moseley Braun and Rogers.

Last week, after easily winning an eighth term in Congress, CBS reported that Davis was still considering a bid to run for mayor. Earlier, Davis had said he wouldn’t run without the coalition’s support.