Rahm Emanuel: Chicago mayor run blocked by court

Rahm Emanuel, file pic Mr Emanuel was viewed as Mr Obama's chief enforcer

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A US court has ruled that President Barack Obama's former chief-of-staff Rahm Emanuel cannot run to be mayor of Chicago.

Judges in Illinois voted 2-1 to order Mr Emanuel's name removed from the ballot in the vote to be held in less than a month.

Mr Emanuel's opponents claimed he had not met a residency hurdle because he had been living in Washington DC.

Mr Emanuel on Monday pledged to appeal to the state Supreme Court.

"This will go to the next level," he told reporters, adding he had "no doubt" he would prevail.

Overturning the decision of the city board of elections, the court found Mr Emanuel's name could not appear on the ballot to replace mayor Richard M Daley because he did not live in Chicago in the year before the election.

It rejected Mr Emanuel's argument that since he had always intended to return to the city following his service to the president, he had maintained residency.

"We conclude that the candidate neither meets the municipal code's requirement that he have resided in Chicago for the year preceding the election in which he seeks to participate nor falls within any exception to the requirement," the appeals court said, in a split ruling by three judges.

The challenge was brought by two Chicago voters.

Mr Emanuel was born in Chicago, and bought a house in Chicago in 1998, and lived there until 2009 while representing the area in the US Congress. In January 2009 he moved to Washington DC to work for Mr Obama, leaving his family behind in Chicago.

In June 2009, his wife and children joined him in Washington, bringing with them most of their clothing and belongings but leaving behind larger household items - a piano, bed, televisions and family heirlooms, the court wrote. The Emanuels then rented out the Chicago house.

Mr Emanuel resigned from the White House in October 2010 and returned to Chicago.

The three main candidates for mayor are former Senator Carol Moseley Braun, former schools President Gery Chico and City Clerk Miguel del Valle. They are vying to replace Mayor Richard Daley, who is retiring after more than two decades in office.

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