Obama’s ex-enforcer back on Chicago mayoral ballot
President Barack Obama’s ex-aide Rahm Emanuel has Chicago in his grasp after beating perhaps his most serious opponent Thursday: a legal challenge to his mayoral bid.
Emanuel has been the clear frontrunner in the race to run America’s third-largest city ever since he resigned as White House chief of staff and moved back to Chicago in October.
His lead in the polls grew even as opponents dropped out of the once-crowded race to replace retiring Mayor Richard Daley, who has ruled the Windy City for more than 22 years. And so, in a move characteristic of rough and tumble Chicago politics, opponents tried to cut him off in the courts. The heart of the challenge was whether Emanuel, 51, abandoned his Chicago residency when he moved his family to Washington to work for Obama.
Candidates are required to be residents for at least a year before the February 22 election. The municipal code does not define residency, but state laws protect the residency of anyone who temporarily leaves “on business of the United States.”
Emanuel, who was born in Chicago and served a slice of the city for years in the U.S. House of Representatives, insisted he remained a legal resident because his move was temporary and he always intended to return.
Late Thursday, the Illinois Supreme Court gave him a decisive victory in a unanimous ruling.