Emanuel's tenant: Possible run 'not a stunt'

November 11, 2010 (CHICAGO)

Emanuel is expected to announce his intention to run for the mayor of Chicago on Saturday. Two others- State Senator James Meeks and Congressman Danny Davis- are expected to follow suit on Sunday.

A fourth possible candidate, Rob Halpin, said he's been contacted by politicians- presumably Emanuel's opponents- to make a run. He's been living in Emanuel's house since the former White House chief of staff left for Washington, D.C.

Halpin, 50, is a industrial real estate developer. The married father of three said he knows as much as any other candidate about what the city of Chicago needs.

"The city is in financial trouble. One way to correct that would be to create jobs here, really create them," said Halpin.

ABC7 spoke with Halpin at O'Hare Airport just after his plane landed Thursday. He admits he has not begun collecting the 12,500 signatures needed to get on the ballot.

"What I'm hearing is it may cost me some money to get some signatures and get some assistance in the other areas," said Halpin. "I'd have to consider that when we get to that, which will be soon."

Halpin leased Emanuel's North Side house while the former congressman was away serving as White House chief of staff. Some election lawyers say that since Emanuel has not lived in the house for an entire year before Election Day, he is ineligible by law to run for mayor on February 22nd, 2011.

"I'm the only person that's been the resident there for the past year," said Halpin. "I've never met him, so for all I know he is going to list some other place as his residence."

As soon as Emanuel files his own petitions to get on the ballot lawyers are expected to challenge his residency. Halpin-- whether he makes the ballot or not -- is a likely witness in the case.

Emanuel, who was out campaigning in Little Village Wednesday, said he has more important issues on his mind.

Halpin said he's only spoken to Emanuel by telephone- and never about politics.

"Anybody that knows me will tell you this is not a stunt, and I wouldn't be involved with anything like that," said Halpin.

The threatened legal action to force Emanuel off the ballot will not begin until his campaign physically files its nominating petitions at the Chicago Board of Elections. The opening date to file is November 15th; the absolute deadline is November 22nd.

Halpin has 10 days to get 12,500 signatures; with no real effort underway, Halpin's possible candidacy sounds more like a stunt than anything real.

Copyright © 2020 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.