CHICAGO (CBS) – Testimony continues Wednesday in the residency challenge hearing of Chicago mayoral candidate Rahm Emanuel.
Objectors say Emanuel forfeited his standing to run for mayor by going to Washington, D.C., to serve as President Barack Obama’s chief of staff. State law requires any candidate for mayor to live in the municipality for a year before the election in which he is running, but there are exceptions made for national service.
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On Tuesday, Emanuel testified that he had a house in Washington, but home was always Chicago, which was why he claimed the residency controversy took him by surprise.
Some questions revolved around what kind of service qualifies for the exceptions to the one-year residency rule. Objector Alfredo Castillo asked if Emanuel thought he qualified for a military exception to residency requirements.
“The claim isn’t one based on military service. The claim is one on national service, at the request of the President of the United States,” said Emanuel.
Election attorney Burton Odelson, who is leading the residency challenges, has argued that the exception for the residency requirement is limited to military service.
The Ravenswood neighborhood home that Emanuel had rented out when he was in Washington was the most controversial topic Tuesday. Emanuel repeatedly claimed he simply rented a Washington house while still considering Chicago home.
Another subject of contention was Emanuel’s 2009 tax return, on which he said he was only a part-time resident of Illinois, while his wife and children were in Washington before they joined him back at a rented home beginning in June, when the Chicago school year ended.
“It was not filled out correctly, and so we amended it. We made a correction having found the mistake,” Emanuel testified.
Meanwhile, even though Emanuel is taking a beating from his critics, voters are standing behind him.
He received a round of applause Tuesday night at the Diversey-River Bowl, 2211 W. Diversey Pkwy., after spending 11 hours at the residency hearing.
A new Chicago Tribune poll shows Emanuel leading the field of challengers in the mayoral race.