Mayor Rahm Emanuel has moved back into his family’s Ravenswood home--once the site of a battle that almost cost him the race--and took the Brown Line to City Hall Tuesday morning.
“I have the good fortune of being home,” Emanuel said, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
The move follows weeks of renovations after renter Rob Halpin vacated in late June, daysbefore his lease ended. Emanuel joked at a jobs conference Tuesday that the house needed a thorough cleaning before his family moved in, according to the Sun-Times, likely a reference to the messy 2010 standoff between landlord and tenant that threatened the mayor’s residency requirement.
Shortly after Emanuel announced his plans to run for mayor of Chicago in September 2010, detractors called into question whether his two-year residency gap disqualified him from running for the Chicago office. The city requires that mayoral candidates live within Chicago boundaries for a full year before the election. Halpin, who extended his rental lease just days before Mayor Richard Daley announced he would not seek a seventh term, denied Emanuel’s requests that the Halpin family relocate. The mayor’s family has been renting a condo since returning to Chicago last fall.
The dispute became heated when Halpin announced through Chicago Tribune columnist John Kass that he would consider running against Emanuel for mayor, and testified against him in a hearing evaluating the mayor’s eligibility. The residency debate would last for months, costing Emanuel around $800,000 in legal fees before the state Supreme Court ruled in his favor weeks before the election.
But in May, the Halpins announced they would be leaving the house on North Hermitage by the end of their lease term in June, and told the Sun-Times that there “aren't any hard feelings on our part."
Emanuel’s maiden voyage from his Ravenswood home to City Hall involved a ride on the CTA, whose funding woes have been among his key issues during his first 100 days in office.
“After I worked out this morning, I had breakfast with my son— most importantly,” Emanuel said, according to the Sun-Times. “I went to Beans & Bagels, got coffee, got on the Montrose Brown Line.”
Emanuel heralded the system’s efficiency at Tuesday’s jobs conference.
"Got on the train and got to work in 30 minutes, short order. That is a competitive advantage for the city," he said, according to the Chicago Tribune. A spokeswoman told the Tribune the Mayor was accompanied by his security detail for the ride.