Emanuel’s residency disputed in Chicago mayoral race

November 27, 2010

By Kristen Mack, Chicago Tribune

A veteran election attorney filed papers Friday to try to knock Chicago mayoral candidate Rahm Emanuel off the ballot, charging he does not meet city residency rules.

Under Illinois’ municipal code, a candidate must be a resident of the city for a year prior to the election. Emanuel was working as President Obama’s White House chief of staff until he returned to Chicago last month to campaign for the Feb. 22 election.

Emanuel said he meets the standard because he owns a home here, has voted here and always intended to move back. Lawyer Burt Odelson said the fact that Emanuel rented out his home, instead of leaving it empty, means he’s not a resident.

“The law says you have to have a physical presence, not just intent,” Odelson said. “Maintaining a residency means you have a place to go home to, a place where you sleep, a place where your wife and family are.”

Odelson filed his challenge on behalf of Thomas L. McMahon, a retired Chicago police officer, and Walter P. Maksym Jr., a lawyer. Fourteen other Chicago residents have filed similar objections.

The code does not define residency, but exempts members of the military who serve away from home. State election code also includes a government service exemption that protects the residency status of anyone who temporarily leaves “on business of the United States.”

To read more, visit: http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-rahm-20101127,0,1124557.story

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