- The Washington Times - Monday, January 24, 2011

An Illinois Appeals Court on Monday ordered Chicago mayoral candidate Rahm Emanuel — President Obama’s former chief of staff — off the ballot, saying he didn’t live in the city long enough before the election to qualify as a resident.

The court voted 2-1 to overturn a judge’s ruling to keep his name on the Feb. 22 ballot, saying the Democrat doesn’t meet the one-year residency requirement because he rented out his Chicago home and moved his family to Washington to work for Mr. Obama for almost two years.

“We conclude that the candidate neither meets the municipal code’s requirement that he have resided in Chicago for the year preceding the election in which he seeks to participate nor falls within any exception to the requirement,” the appeals court said in its ruling.

Mr. Emanuel has said he always intended to return to Chicago and was only living in Washington at the request of the president.

A lawyer for Mr. Emanuel immediately said the former White House chief of staff will appeal the court’s decision.

Speaking to reporters later, Mr. Emanuel said the appeals court ruling was just a turn in the road and he had “no doubt” he will prevail in his fight to run for mayor.

Mr. Emanuel, a former Chicago congressman who stepped down from his post as White House chief of state in October, had been considered the front-runner and had raised more money than any of the other candidates still in the race. The multi-candidate election will be held Feb. 22, with Mr. Emanuel hoping to crack the 50 percent mark to avoid a run-off.

In a recent citywide poll, Mr. Emanuel held a two-to-one advantage over his closest rival in the race, former Democratic Sen. Carol Moseley Braun. The Chicago Tribune/WGN survey conducted Jan. 15-19 showed 44 percent of likely voters backing Mr. Emanuel, while 21 percent said they favored Ms. Braun.

This story is based in part on wire service reports.

 

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