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Rahm Emanuel Disqualified from Chicago Mayoral Run

Former White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel has been disqualified from running as a mayoral candidate in Chicago.
By Chana Ya'ar and Elad Benari
First Publish: 1/24/2011, 9:21 PM / Last Update: 1/24/2011, 9:25 PM

Former White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel has been disqualified from running as a mayoral candidate in Chicago.

Two out of three appellate judges ruled Monday that Emanuel was not a resident of Chicago, according to a report published by the Chicago Sun-Times. The time he had spent away from home working as President Barack Obama's chief of staff was used successfully by opponents to disqualify him as a resident of the city.

In a long-running battle to win the right to run for mayor of the city, Emanuel had already fought his way through two out of three hearings on the case.

Arguing for Emanuel, attorney Kevin Forde convinced the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners and then a judge in Cook County Court that his client was a legitimate candidate.

But this time the Illinois Democrat ran up against a roadblock on the residency regulation, which mandates that he live in the city he is hoping to lead.

Although he has lived in Chicago for years, and owns a home there, during his tenure in the White House, Emanuel rented out his North Side home to Rob Halpin, a one-time mayoral candidate himself. Halpin was unwilling to move out and allow Emanuel to move back in after Mayor Richard Daley announced he would not seek re-election, thus opening the competition for the position.

Handing down the 2-1 decision for the appellate panel on Monday, Justice Thomas Hoffman wrote, “We... order that the candidate's name be excluded (or if necessary, be removed) from the ballot...” on February 22, 2011.

He and Justice Shelvin Louise Marie Hall ruled against Emanuel, whose Jerusalem-born father immigrated to the United States from Israel prior to the birth of the state. Judge Bertina Lampkin wrote the dissenting opinion, deciding in support of Emanuel's case and opening the door to a possible appeal to the Illinois Supreme Court.

In response to the decision, Emanuel said on Monday that he plans to appeal to the Supreme Court.

“I still own a home here, look forward to moving into it one day, vote from here, pay property taxes here," Emanuel said during a statement to the press. "I do believe that the people of the city of Chicago deserve the right to make a decision on who they want to be their next mayor."

Emanuel added that "When a president asks you to serve the country as his chief of staff, that counts as part of serving your country, and I have no doubt that in the end we will in the prevail at this effort. As my father always used to say, nothing is ever easy in life. This is just one turn in the road.”