CHICAGO (CBS) – Rahm Emanuel could find out very soon whether he will be on the ballot for mayor in February.
Hearing officer Joseph Morris is expected to issue his recommendation Wednesday on the matter of whether Emanuel meets the residency requirements to run. The issuance was pushed back from Tuesday.
Regardless of the board’s ruling, the challenge is likely to end up in the courts, probably going all the way to the Illinois Supreme Court before it is settled.
Election attorney Burton Odelson is leading the challenge against Emanuel’s candidacy. Opponents claim that Emanuel is ineligible to run for mayor because he didn’t live in Chicago for a year before the election, but instead lived in Washington, D.C., serving as chief of staff to President Barack Obama.
State election law does not say absolutely no one can run for mayor without living in the city for a year before an election. It says “no elector or spouse shall be deemed to have lost his or her residence … by reason of his or her absence on business of the United States, or of this State.”
Challengers argue that section deals with the right to vote, not to run for office. They say the state municipal code offers only one valid excuse for not living here: active-duty military service.
A final decision on the challenges is expected before the Feb. 22 election.