Posted on 04-10-2010
Filed Under (Politics) by Rashtrakut

Rahm Emmanuel who resigned as White House chief of staff to launch a bid for Chicago mayor may find his nascent bid scuttled before takeoff.  The problem is Chicago’s one year residency requirement.  While Emmanuel still owns a house in Chicago, he rented it out during his sojourn in Washington.  However, as the article notes Emmanuel can claim a clear intent to return to Chicago since he “maintained ownership of the home, voted absentee earlier this year, pays property taxes on his house, lists the address on his driver’s license, registers his car there, and always intended to return.”

Residency requirements are often political issues.  A few years ago Mitt Romney who had essentially moved to Utah, worked there and received tax breaks for Utah residents returned to Massachusetts to run for governor.  Luckily for him Republicans held 3 out of the 5 seats on the state ballot commission (probably a result of having held the Governor’s mansion for the past decade) and his opponents made only half-hearted attempts to challenge his residency.

But in the hardball world of Chicago politics, where President Obama commenced his electoral career by challenging his primary opponents off the ballot, look for Emmanuel to face some serious opposition in his bid to actually get on the mayoral ballot.  While I think he will get on the ballot, a bigger hurdle may be Cook Country Sheriff Tom Dart, who as the article notes carries the added ethnic advantage of being Irish American in a city that has elected one non-Irish mayor (Harold Washington) since 1933 (when Anton Cermak was assassinated by bullets that may have been intended for FDR).  It will be a messy race to succeed Richard the Second.

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