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Rahm Emanuel blocked from Chicago mayor bid

Obama’s former chief of staff had raised over $10m from a range of Hollywood supporters, including Steven Spielberg and Aaron Sorkin.

Image: AP Photo/Paul Beaty

A US COURT HAS RULED that Rahm Emanuel, President Obama’s former chief of staff, can not run in the election for Chiacago’s mayor after failing to meet residency requirements.

Emanuel, who stepped down from his post at the White House on 1 October, 2010, said he would contest the ruling, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.

The ruling said: “We … order that the candidate’s name be excluded (or if, necessary, be removed) from the ballot.”

The Illinois state municipal code requires candidates for Chicago mayor to reside in Chicago for at least a year before polling day.

Shortly after the decision was made public, Emanuel’s team lobbied its supporters via text message to assemble and rally for his inclusion in the 22 February ballot. Emanuel is expected to appeal the decision to the Illinois Supreme Court, which could be much more favourable.

BusinessInsider reports that as the Illinois Supreme Court is made up of Democrat-majority elected officials, it is unlikely to uphold the decision to keep Emanuel off the ballot.

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Emanuel was way out in front of his competitors in terms of fundraising: he is understood to have raised over $10m (€7.3m) from Hollywood sources including director Steven Spielberg, West Wing-creator Aaron Sorkin, Jeffrey Ketzenberg of Dreamworks, and Napster founder Sean Parker, according to Hollywood Reporter.

Last week, former US President Bill Clinton campaigned on behalf of Emanuel. Rahm Emanuel is hoping to succeed Richard J Daley, who has been serving as the mayor of Chicago since 1989. He announced in September that he would not be running for office when his current term ends in May 2011.

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