Emanuel not the only mayoral hopeful facing residency issue

Longshot candidate says she only recently moved to city from Oak Lawn

November 20, 2010

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Rahm Emanuel's campaign this week defended the candidate against allegations he is ineligible to run for Chicago mayor because he's been living in Washington, DC, for the past two years. But the ex-White House chief of staff is not the only mayoral hopeful with a potential residency problem.

Nine candidates have filed to run for mayor, including M. Tricia Lee, who says she is an author and "fourth generation Chicagoan." On her election paperwork, Lee lists as her home address a motel on Chicago's southwest side, where she says she's renting out a room. But she only moved there "recently," Lee said in an interview Friday.

Lee, also known as Maureen Patricia Lee, owns a condo just outside the Chicago city limits, in Oak Lawn, where she is still a registered voter. She said she plans to switch her registration to the motel address soon.

There is a legal requirement that a candidate for mayor must live in the city for a year prior to the election. Asked about that, Lee said her "intentions are good," that she is running the campaign herself and is "just trying to work within all the requirements."

Other campaigns could challenge her paperwork, though, to get her booted from the ballot. "If and when there's an objection filed, we'll take a look at it," said Jim Allen, spokesman for the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners.