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Rahm Emanuel gets green light to run for Chicago mayor
CHICAGO (Reuters) - Former White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel got a victory in his run for Chicago mayor on Thursday, with a decision by an election board that he meets the residency requirement to be on the February ballot.
Emanuel told reporters at a downtown restaurant that he was "obviously very pleased" with the board vote.
"It reminds I think everybody what the priorities are facing the city, which is about safer streets, strong schools and stable city finances," Emanuel said.
The Chicago Board of Election Commissioners 3-0 vote followed a recommendation earlier Thursday by an adviser to the board, Joseph Morris. Morris found that Emanuel did not intend to permanently leave Chicago when he went to work for the Obama administration.
Opponents of Emanuel's campaign have claimed that he is not a legal Chicago resident for the purpose of the mayoral race, and are expected to take the case to court.
Chicago-based activist Rev. Jesse Jackson was critical of the ruling in a statement issued on Thursday.
"This decision makes the rules and laws too elusive and breeds insecurity. It suggests one set of rules for the rich and powerful and another set for the rest of society," Jackson said. "We say that we are a society of laws not of personalities. We either believe that or we don't."
Jackson's son, Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., considered running for mayor but decided against it.
The Democratic primary election for mayor is February 22. According to a recent Chicago Tribune/WGN poll, Emanuel has the lead in the race. Mayor Richard M. Daley, who has been in office for 21 years, decided not to seek reelection.
(Reporting by Mary Wisniewski, Edited by Greg McCune)
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