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During his roughly 12 hours of testimony, Mr. Emanuel argued that he has asked the renters to move out. He also said he still has an Illinois driver’s license and continued to pay property taxes and other bills on his home, in which he left such valuables as a piano and his wife’s wedding dress.

He decided to run after Mr. Daley unexpectedly announced in September that he would not seek a seventh term, giving the city its first competitive mayoral race in about 20 years. Mr. Emanuel, known for his salty language and arm twisting on Capitol Hill, said months before the Daley announcement that being mayor of his hometown would be a “dream job.”

A poll released Wednesday showed Mr. Emanuel, the presumed front-runner since announcing his candidacy in October, has widened his lead in the race over his top rivals, who are all Democrats.

He has 43 percent of the support among voters in a poll from the Chicago Retail Merchants Association. His closest rival, lawyer Gery Chico, has 11 percent. They are followed by former Sen. Carol Moseley Braun with 7 percent, Rep. Danny K. Davis and City Clerk Miguel Del Valle with 6 percent each, and state Sen. James Meeks with 3 percent, according to the poll.

Still, Mr. Emanuel will need at least 50 percent of the vote to avoid a runoff in the nonpartisan race.

“For too long, the mayor’s race has been focused on residency, not real issues,” Mr. Chico, a former Daley staffer, said after the commission ruling.

Mr. Emanuel already has aired several TV ads. A recent Chicago Tribune/WGN poll has him at 32 percent and the only candidate in double digits. However, 30 percent of the respondents said they were undecided.

c This article is based in part on wire service reports.