Emanuel faces first residency challenges

November 24, 2010 8:53:56 PM PST
An ex-convict was the first person to challenge the residency of Chicago mayoral candidate Rahm Emanuel.

Emanuel is one of 20 people running for the position, which requires candidates to live in Chicago for one year prior to filing for mayor. At issue- Emanuel lived in Washington, D.C., while serving as the White House chief of staff to U.S. President Barack Obama.

Paul McKinley, an ex-convict, filed the first residency challenge with the Chicago Board of Elections, where two rooms are filled with candidates' petitions.

"The law states that he must live in that residency. Not only does he not live there, he rented it out," McKinley said. "

McKinley represents a group of ex-offenders.

"We are saying if we, ex-offenders break the law, we go to jail. We're saying we're not going to sit back and let Rahm Emanuel break the law," McKinley said. McKinley said his goal is to get 1,000 African-American men to file residency objections against Emanuel.

A mayoral candidate must be a Chicago resident for one year prior to filing for mayor. The Emanuel campaign said the law includes the word "intent" and Emanuel took the job in Washington with the intention of returning to Chicago.

"He did have a home here and the fact that he did rent it is not an indication to stay away or make someplace else his permanent home. In fact, it's an indication that he intended to come back," Richard Prendergast, lawyer for Emanuel Campaign.

Last week, Emanuel defended his residency, "I was a congressman from the city of Chicago. I have raised my kids here in the city of Chicago. I own a home here in the city of Chicago."

Election attorney Burt Odelson, who has been the most vocal about challenging Emanuel's residency, is also expected to file an objection.

There is also a section of the Illinois election law that says no elector or spouse should lose residency if the reason for the absence is on business of the United States.


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