Reporters, Critics Ask: Does Rahm Emanuel Live in Chicago?

By: From CBS News Political Hotsheet
By: From CBS News Political Hotsheet

CHICAGO -- Two election experts tell the Chicago Sun Times that Rahm Emanuel may not be eligible to run for mayor of Chicago because he does not meet eligibility requirements.

The potential problem for Emanuel concerns Illinois' requirement that a candidate for mayor maintain a residence in the city or town where he is running for a year in advance of the election. Emanuel has spent the past 20 months working in Washington as White House chief of staff.

Had Emanuel not rented out his home when he moved to Washington, the newspaper suggests, he may not have had a problem. But he is potentially susceptible to challenges because he has lacked a residence in Chicago and has not been able to convince his tenants to break their lease and move out of his home.

President Obama, unlike Emanuel, has kept a house in Chicago during his time in the White House, though it has been empty most of that time. He remains a Chicago resident and presumably would be eligible for the mayor's race.

Emanuel's press aide did not immediately respond to a CBS News request for comment. His high profile time in Washington would seem to make the eligibility challenge easier to prove than it is in most cases.

He may be able to stay on the ballot, the Sun Times notes, because he did not sell his house but only rented it out.

"Emanuel could argue that he has 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," the newspaper reports. "Cook County judges give great deference to a candidate's intent."

Emanuel kicked off his candidacy with a video over the weekend, and embarked on a citywide listening tour Monday.

Democratic political consultant Joe Trippi, who is reportedly working as lead strategist for likely mayoral candidate and Emanuel rival Tom Dart, mocked Emanuel on Twitter for filming the introductery video in Washington.

"I was born here, and my wife Amy and I raised our three children here," Emanuel says in the video. "I'm glad to be home."

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