Mayoral opponents reacting to Rahm ruling

January 25, 2011 (CHICAGO)

All of Rahm Emanuel's challengers claim it is business as usual on the campaign trail, despite Emanuel's latest legal hurdles. However, candidates are anxious for the Illinois Supreme Court to rule before early voting begins on Monday.

In the meantime, Gery Chico dropped a bombshell while being endorsed by the firefighters union.

As Emanuel picked up an endorsement from the Teamsters Tuesday morning, Gery Chico, the candidate said to benefit the most from a race without Rahm, received a nod from the firefighters union.

While residency has taken center stage in the race, the subject has now taken a new twist, as Chico says he is open to lifting the rule that requires city workers to live in the city.

"I think now we're absolutely mature enough to put the issue on the table and at least discuss it, and let's see where those discussions take us," Chico said.

Because it is something many firefighters and police support, mayoral hopeful Miguel del Valle accuses Chico of pandering to unions.

"To say that you're going to allow all employees to move outside the City of Chicago and desert our neighborhoods throughout the City of Chicago is just ludicrous," said del Valle.

Mayoral candidate Carol Moseley Braun says she is against lifting the residency requirement because it threatens the middle class.

Braun says she is re-energizing her campaign with the real possibility that Rahm Emanuel may be off the ballot. However, Braun says she is not hinging her campaign on the next Emanuel residency ruling.

"If you don't have expectations then you're not gonna be disappointed one way or the other. So I have no expectations about what the court's going to do. I know what I'm going to do," Braun said.

While the Illinois Supreme Court will hear the Emanuel's residency case, two more mayoral candidates just want to be heard. Patricia Van Pelt-Watkins is demanding that the Chicago Tribune include her in the Trib's televised debate this week.

"It is important for the Chicago Tribune to open the doors so the citizens and the residents of this city can have a clearer understanding of who is in the race and also be informed voters," said Watkins.

Candidate "Dock" Walls is being left out as well.

"We think it's a travesty and a shame, that people should be able to hear the candidates who they have to choose from," said Walls.

The Tribune debate is scheduled for Thursday. Poll numbers dictate participation. The Tribune says a candidate must earn more than 2 percent in a Trib poll to be included.

As for lifting the residency rule for city workers, Emanuel's campaign says he is open to discussing the subject.

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