Rahm Kicked Out Of Chicago Mayor Race

Rahm Emanuel on the campaign trail

An Illinois state appeals court has ruled that former White House Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel, is ineligible to run for Chicago Mayor because he fails to meet residency requirements.

Despite having lived in Washington, DC for the last two years, Emanuel argued he met municipal code requirements to have “resided” in the city for at least one full year because he owns an apartment in Chicago. A lower court and The Chicago Board of Elections both agreed, allowing him on the ballot for the February 22 election.

Today’s 2-1 appellate ruling decided that although he owned a home in Chicago, he did not live there, kicking the former Obama Administration staff member off the ballot. The full ruling can be read here.

Not so fast: Rahm plans to take his case to the Illinois Supreme Court.

Emanuel has been the front-runner for Chicago Mayor, both in the polls and in fundraising, reports The New York Times. A Chicago Tribune/WGN television poll taken last week showed the Democrat far ahead with 44-percent of the vote; his closest competitor, Carol Mosely Braun, the first African-American to be elected to the US Senate, had 22-percent.

However, Chicago insiders predict Gery Chico, and not Braun, would benefit from Rahm being taken out of the race.

“If you were for Rahm, he’s kind of a business-like person who can get things done. Gery is a similar personality. He’s more like Rahm than Carol is like Rahm. More people in Rahm’s camp would default to him than to Carol,” the insider told The Chicago Sun-Times.

The new mayor will be replacing the retiring Richard M. Daly.

“It’s a surprise,” Emanuel’s attorney, Kevin Forde, told the Chicago Sun-Times, adding that he plans to take his case to the Illinois Supreme Court.

It has not yet been decided if the state’s highest Court will hear the case.

UPDATE (1/25/2011): The Illinois State Supreme Court has decided it will hear Rahm’s appeal but did not give a time frame. It has ordered the Elections board to stop printing ballots without his name on them.

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