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Rahm Emanuel spent $800K to fight residency challenge

Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM

Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel spent about $800,000 on legal fees to fight a residency challenge that attempted to knock him off the ballot in February’s mayoral election, campaign filings show.

Emanuel’s campaign raised a total of $14.5 million, including $2.6 million during the first three months of 2011, according to a quarterly report filed Friday with the Illinois State Board of Elections.

Of that amount, $12.5 million was spent, or just over $38 for each of the 326,331 votes Emanuel received on Feb. 22.

But he almost lost his spot on the ballot. Opponents charged that Emanuel didn’t meet the state’s one-year residency requirement to run for mayor because he had rented out his Chicago home while serving as President Obama’s chief of staff in Washington.

An appellate court sided with the challengers, but then the Illinois Supreme Court issued a unanimous ruling that Emanuel was eligible to run.

He went on to win 55 percent of the vote, avoiding a runoff with Mayor Daley’s former chief of staff Gery Chico.

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