Washington (CNN) - Rahm Emanuel appears to have cleared the final hurdle in his effort to become a legal candidate in the Chicago mayoral race.
Cook County Judge Mark Ballard ruled Tuesday there was sufficient evidence that the former top Obama aide meets the residency standards required to mount a bid. The judgment comes on the heels of a similar finding from the Board of Elections last month.
"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. And they deserve to have the campaign focus on the challenges facing the city and the need for safe streets, strong schools, and stable city finances."
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 serving as President Barack Obama's chief of staff in Washington, before stepping down in October and returning to Chicago to run for mayor.
Opponents claimed that Emanuel abandoned city residency by renting out his home during his tenure working in the Obama White House. Emanuel responded by pointing out that he pays property taxes in Chicago, votes in the city, and that his car is licensed in the city.
Those facts, he claimed, prove his intent to remain a resident.
Polls suggest Emanuel is far ahead of his rivals in the contest to succeed longtime Mayor Richard Daley.
Geez, this guy is the POSTER CHILD for corrupt Chicago politics. How many corrupt DemocRAT politicians have to end up behind bars before the people of Illinois learn their lesson? Must be their failed, union-controlled school system at work.
Most elected officials who serve in Washington maintain their home residence. So this ruling is OK if you do not bark like a conservative. From other states, I always felt sorry for the residents of Arizona having to put up with the antics of their governor, and felt the pain of the residents of South Carolina with the antics of their ex governor. I also have empathy for the residents of New Jersey for their misguided absentee governor, but none of that compares to the medicare scam artist serving as governor in Florida.
Wow, this is a surprise. I am surprised that took this charade this far. Everybody in Chicago knew what the ruling was going to be. The Obama-thugs have Illinois and Chicago wrapped up. Just take a look at Illinois and you can see America according to Obama.
Good. There will be a primary which he may or may not win, but at least the voters will get a chance to decide.
I think it would be a bad premise if electing to serve the government lost you your rights to return home.
I can just see a new branch of those idiotic "birthers" forming just to constantly question Emmanuel's residency qualifications.
Any thoughts on what they should be called? Remember to keep it clean.
Yes, birthers are just plain bored want to be important busy bodies who add to the nut cases coming out of the closet. A lot of these people remind me of those who followed Jim Jones to their death.