Rahm Emanuel Clears Another Hurdle for Ballot

Posted January 4, 2011 at 1:53pm

Former Rep. Rahm Emanuel survived efforts to keep him off the ballot in the Chicago mayoral race. A Cook County judge ruled Tuesday that Emanuel has satisfied the requirement to live in the Windy City for at least a year prior to the election.

“The Board of Elections and the court have both now concluded what I have said all along — that the only reason I left town was to serve President Obama and that I always intended to return,” Emanuel said in a statement. “Now that these decisions have been reached, Chicago voters should have the right to decide the election and to vote for me or against me.”

In early September longtime Mayor Richard Daley announced he would not run for re-election, and in early October Emanuel stepped down from his job as White House chief of staff to pursue the post. But rivals in Chicago alleged that he didn’t meet the residency requirement because of his time living in the District.

Emanuel showed photos of his belongings at his home in Chicago, which he had rented out, as evidence that he planned to return, and in late December he passed the first hurdle when the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners voted unanimously to allow him on the ballot.

Yet opponents said they would appeal the judge’s ruling on Tuesday, according to the Chicago Tribune. Burt Odelson, the opponents’ attorney, said Emanuel’s intent to return to the city doesn’t prove he lived there in the last year.

“It’s your actions that speak for what your intention is,” Odelson told the Tribune.

Fellow Rep. Danny Davis announced on New Year’s Eve that he would drop his own ambitions for mayor and support former Sen. Carol Moseley Braun.