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An Illinois appeals court has kicked Rahm Emanuel off next month's ballot for Chicago mayor, ruling 2-1 that he does not meet the one-year residency requirement because he was living in Washington for the past two years as President Obama's chief of staff
Those challenging Emanuel's candidacy have argued that 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 President Barack Obama for nearly two years.
Emanuel has said he always intended to return to Chicago and was only living in Washington at the request of the president.
The Appellate Court concluded that Emanuel’s claims of intent to return were not enough. “Based on the foregoing analysis, we conclude that… a candidate must meet not only the Election Code’s voter residency standard, but also must have actually resided within the municipality for one year prior to the election, a qualification that the candidate unquestionably does not satisfy,” the court wrote.
Illinois state law says a candidate for mayor is required to have lived in the municipality where he is running for at least one year prior to the election. But Emanuel’s team has argued that exceptions can be made for national service.
The court agreed that Emanuel’s reason for leaving Chicago constituted “business of the United States,” but argued that this still did not qualify him for the ballot. “In our view, the exception… applies only to voter residency requirements, not to candidate residency requirements,” the court wrote.
The Chicago Mercantile Exchange gave Emanuel $200,000, records released Thursday show. He also took in $100,000 apiece from wealthy Chicago businessmen James Crown and Fred Eychaner, plus another $100,000 from Hollywood mogul David Geffen, $75,000 from film director Steven Spielberg and $50,000 from Apple CEO Steve Jobs.
In all, Emanuel — President Obama’s former chief of staff — had raised more than $10.5 million as of Dec. 31, records show. He also transferred more than $1.1 million from the federal campaign account he used when was a Northwest Side congressman.