ABC News' Huma Khan reports: The Chicago Election Commission today will decide the fate of Rahm Emanuel's candidacy, mired in residency challenges.
The former White House chief of staff got a major boost last night from the hearing officer, who said Emanuel satisfied the city’s residency requirements.
Emanuel moved to Washington, D.C. in late 2008 to take his position in President Obama’s administration but argues that his intention was always to move back to the city. Chicago law requires that a candidate has to be a resident of the city for at least a year before running for office.
More than two dozen people have challenged Emanuel’s residency, saying that the fact that he has a home in the city and voted there isn't evidence enough that he's a legal resident.
But the hearing officer rejected that claim, saying that Emanuel didn’t “abandon” his residency.
“The preponderance of the evidence establishes that the sole reason for the candidate’s absence from Chicago during 2009 and 2010 was by reason of his attendance to business of the United States,” hearing officer Joseph A. Morris said in his 34-page report. “It has not been established that the candidate, a resident of Chicago, abandoned his status as such a resident. In any event, his absence from Illinois during the time in question is excused, for purposes of the safeguarding and retention his status as a resident and elector, by express operation of Illinois law.”
The hearing officer also dismissed three other claims made against Emanuel.
The Chicago Board of Election Commissioners is expected to officially rule later today on whether Emanuel can stay on the Feb. 22 ballot.