Emanuel will appeal decision on mayoral eligibility

Former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel said he planned to appeal a ruling by a Chicago appellate court that ineligible to run for mayor of Chicago.

"I think this will go to the next level, to the Supreme Court," Emanuel said, meeting with reporters soon after the court handed down its decision.

ADVERTISEMENT
The 2-1 ruling from the Illinois Appellate Court reversed a decision by a Cook County Circuit Court that found Emanuel met the eligibility requirements to run.

The Appellate Court found that Emanuel had not met Chicago's municipal code requirement of being a resident of the city for one year and that he is not exempt from the election laws for being absent on governmental business — meaning his work in Washington as President Obama's chief of staff.

While Emanuel plans to petition the Illinois Supreme Court to hear his appeal, time is running out, with early voting opening a week from Monday and the election scheduled for Feb. 22. He said his lawyers would file a petition very soon.

"They're going to file everything in due order," Emanuel said.

Emanuel has been the clear frontrunner, raising more money and retaining a double-digit lead over his opponents in the polls. 

In a press release after the decision, Brooke Anderson, a spokesperson for former Chicago Public Schools president Gery Chico, who raised the most money after Emanuel in the second half of last year, said she was stunned by the decision.

"Today's news is a surprise, but it will not impact how we run our campaign," Anderson said.

At the press conference Emanuel appeared confident.

“I have no doubt at the end we will prevail," Emanuel said.