CHICAGO
01/24/2011 07:28 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Countdown To Election Day: The Most Dramatic Day Ever

In just thirty days, Chicagoans will head to the polls and vote in a whole new batch of city leaders. While the race for mayor was quite dramatic from the start, the city was seemingly unprepared for the major news that broke on Monday.

Stay tuned to HuffPost Chicago from now until February 22 for "The Countdown," a daily roundup of election news, gossip and other fun tidbits. You can also sign up to receive "The Countdown" via email daily by checking the "Chicago Brief" box here.

THE BOMBSHELL

Obviously, the news of the day came late this morning, when an Illinois appellate panel decided that Rahm Emanuel should not be allowed to run for Chicago mayor.

"We conclude that the candidate neither meets the municipal code's requirement that he have 'resided' in Chicago for the year preceding the election in which he seeks to participate nor falls within any exception to the requirement," said the majority opinion by justices Thomas E. Hoffman and Shelvin Louise Marie Hall.

Emanuel's lawyers said they would immediately appeal the decision to the Illinois Supreme Court, but the chairman of the Chicago board of election commissioners has already said the ballots will be printed without Rahm's name on them.

Whatever happens with the Illinois Supreme Court will surely need to happen fast, as early voting begins on Jan. 31.

For breaking updates on Rahm's status, go here. To learn more about the legal mess this ruling has created, go here.

MAPPING THE MONEY

Dan Sinker, the journalist behind the Chicago Mayoral Scorecard, has launched a mayoral contributions map. Click on a candidate, and see where in the country their contributions are coming from. Rahm Emanuel was criticized for getting so much financial help from outside of Chicago--but Carol Moseley Braun and Gery Chico have a bit of out-of-state cash flowing in as well. Miguel del Valle apparently keeps it local--but his numbers pale in comparison to Emanuel's.

We aren't sure where that money will go if Emanuel doesn't get back on the ballot. Also, we are wondering where the Jeff Tweedy fundraiser stands.

CHICO'S ON FIRE

It was a good day for Gery Chico. First, his top opponent was booted from the ballot. Then, he was endorsed by Chicago Firefighters Local 2. The Fraternal Order of Police has already thrown its support behind Chico, who vowed to hire a superintendent from its ranks. Current Supt. Jody Weis wonders if that is a good thing.

MJ FOR MAYOR

This mayoral race has been a hot mess. First there were 20 candidates, now there are six and the frontrunner might be out.

Some Chicagoans have come up with an answer to all this madness: vote for Michael Jordan. After Sunday's epic loss to the Green Bay Packers, sports fans found themselves longing for the glory days. Michael Jordan is a Chicago legend, and this Facebook group wants you to make him the write-in winner of the Chicago mayor's race.

RAHMEN EMANUEL

Obviously @MayorEmanuel is our favorite fake Twitter account right now (Warning: NSFW). But Rahmen Emanuel definitely wins in the Tumblr world. Oh, a HuffPost Chicago editor will buy you cookies if you tell her who runs the @MayorEmanuel Twitter account. For real.

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Bonus shrimp.

If you have any juicy gossip about the Chicago elections, or a story you think we should see, send us an email at chicago@huffingtonpost.com.