Emanuel removed from ballot by appellate court

Mon. January 24, 2011 1:22 PM by Jay Shaff

Chicago, IL - In a 2-1 decision, an Illinois appellate court has ruled that candidate Rahm Emanuel did not meet residency requirements to be on the Chicago mayoral ballot.

The 42 page decision, issued less than thirty days before the February 22, 2011 election, came late this morning and has the media and politicians in a frenzy. Emanuel will certainly appeal the decision to the Illinois Supreme Court.

Early voting begins January 31, 2011.

Challengers of Emanuel's residency first went to the Chicago Board of Elections, who ruled in favor of Emanuel, and then to district court where the decision was upheld. That ruling was appealed resulting in today's decision.

The majority ruling of the court said "…we conclude that the candidate neither meets the Municipal Code's requirement that he have "resided in" Chicago for the year preceding the election in which he seeks to participate nor falls within any exception to the requirement. Accordingly, we disagree with the Board's conclusion that he is eligible to run for the office of Mayor of the City of Chicago. We reverse the circuit court's judgment confirming the Board's decision, set aside the Board's decision, and, pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 366(a)(5) (Ill. Sup. Ct. R. 366(a)(5) (eff. Feb. 1, 1994)), order that the candidate's name be excluded (or, if necessary, removed) from the ballot for the February 22, 2011, Chicago mayoral election.

Recent polls had shown Emanuel with a commanding lead in both likely votes and fund raising over other major candidates Gery Chico, Carol Moseley Braun and Miguel del Valle.

Emanuel has been a strong advocate of gay rights. He is former Chief of Staff to President Barack Obama and also a former U.S. Congressman.