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Rahm Emanuel kicked off Chicago ballot by court

Rahm Emanuel is not a legally viable candidate for the Chicago mayor’s office, according to a Monday ruling from an Illinois appellate court. The panel decided on a 2-1 vote that Emanuel did not meet the residency qualifications.

Emanuel, a former congressman for part of Chicago, served as President Obama’s chief of staff until he resigned the position in October after current Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley said that he would not seek another term in office. During his stint in the White House, Emanuel maintained ownership of his Chicago home, but had been renting the unit while he resided full time in Washington, D.C. Emanuel and his attorneys attempted to argue that he maintained his residency since he was serving duty in Washington at the president’s request, but the appellate court dismissed that argument Monday. The Chicago Sun-Times reports:

Burt Odelson, the attorney who led the charge to throw Emanuel off the ballot, said the appellate court appears to have adopted all of his arguments that the state municipal code requires candidates for mayor in Illinois to reside within the town in which they’re running for a year prior to Election Day.

Emanuel was successful in hearings before two lower courts, so his standing on the ballot is not yet finalized. An appeal from his campaign to the Illinois Supreme Court is likely. The Democratic primary (which essentially chooses the eventual winner in the left-leaning city) is set for Feb. 22. Emanuel was on the path to an easy victory before this judicial setback, with a Chicago Tribune poll last week putting him ahead of former U.S. Sen. Carol Moseley Braun by a 44-21 percent margin.

Read the court’s full decision here (PDF).

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