Chicago: Former White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel can run for mayor of Chicago, the Illinois high court ruled unanimously on Thursday, overturning a lower court ruling earlier this week to exclude him.
Some residents of Chicago challenged Emanuel`s residency, saying his stay in Washington, DC as President Obama`s chief of staff disqualified him from running for mayor under residency rules. Emanuel had argued he always intended to return to Chicago after his US service was over.
"This is a situation in which, not only did the candidate testify that his intent was not to abandon his Chicago residence, his acts fully support and confirm that intent," the court found, in a 7-0 opinion.
Emanuel, who was not immediately available for comment, had rented out his Chicago house while he was serving the Obama administration. He also had left personal belongings in a storage space in the house.
Emanuel had the support of 44 percent of Chicago voters in a recent Chicago Tribune poll, compared with 21 percent for his closest opponent, former US Senator Carol Moseley Braun.
Emanuel has raised USD 11.8 million for his mayoral run, with donations from luminaries like film director Steve Spielberg.
The February 22 election is to replace long-time Mayor Richard M Daley, who is stepping down after 22 years in office.