(CNN) – Rahm Emanuel is taking to the stand in his bid become Chicago's next mayor.
The former White House chief of staff testifies Tuesday in front of the Chicago Elections Board, as it holds hearings regarding residency challenges to Emanuel's mayoral campaign. More than 30 people have filed legal challenges against Emanuel, claiming that he does not meet the necessary residency requirement to run for mayor.
Local law in Chicago states that a candidate for mayor must have lived in the city for the year leading up to the election. Emanuel spent most of 2009 and this year in Washington, serving as President Barack Obama's chief of staff, before stepping down in October and returning to Chicago to run for mayor.
Opponents claim that Emanuel abandoned city residency by renting out his home during his tenure working in the Obama White House. Emanuel has responded by pointing out that he pays property taxes in Chicago, votes in the city, and that his car is licensed in the city, which he says proves his intent to remain a resident.
"Chicagoans recognize that the only reason Rahm left town was to serve President Obama, and they believe that voters should have the right to vote for - or against - Rahm," Emanuel campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt tells CNN.
Recent surveys suggest that Emanuel is the front runner in the February election battle to succeed longtime Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, who announced in September that he would not run for a seventh term.
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