(New York Times)
An Illinois appeals court panel has ruled that Rahm Emanuel, the former White House chief of staff, does not qualify to run for mayor of Chicago in next month’s election.
The ruling, which was announced on Monday, comes as a significant and unexpected setback for Mr. Emanuel, who has been a front-runner both in polls and in fundraising in the race to replace Richard M. Daley, the city’s longest serving mayor, who will retire this spring.
The question of Mr. Emanuel’s residency — and whether he had lived in Chicago long enough to appear on the city’s ballot — had been a matter of debate since Mr. Emanuel departed the White House last fall to run for mayor.
Mr. Emanuel contended that he had always maintained a home in Chicago, the city where he was born, and that his time at the White House was a matter of national service. But Mr. Emanuel’s opponents said that Mr. Emanuel did not meet the state’s residency requirements to run for a mayoralty, one of which is to have lived in the city for a year before the day of the election. His return to Chicago in the fall, they argued, was too late to qualify for a Feb. 22 ballot.
The Chicago Board of Elections concurred with Mr. Emanuel, as had a Cook County trial judge. But a three-judge panel of the Illinois Appellate Court ruled against him, 2 to 1. With time running short and ballot arrangements already being finalized, the issues seemed certain to go to the state Supreme Court.