How important is it to you that the person who represents your district in Washington DC actually lives in your district?
For me, the answer is: very.
As much as I revere the Constitution, it contains a quirk when it comes to selecting members of the United States House of Representatives.
Article I, Section 2 states that the House of Representatives will be elected every two years and that “no person shall be a representative who shall not have attained to the age of twenty-five years, and been seven years a citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an inhabitant of that state in which he shall be chosen.”
So, the requirements to be a sitting congressman are: be 25 years old (check), be a U.S. citizen for at least 7 years (check) and live in the state that you represent (check). But there is no rule which states that you have to live in the specific congressional district that you represent.
I can understand why the Founders were somewhat lax on this. They wanted the legislative chamber to be “close to the people.” They envisioned a group of regular citizens who would make the sacrifice to represent their community and come together to improve their country.
Everyday Americans know what everyday Americans need and want, so they should be the ones running for office. That is why the Constitution puts notably few hurdles between ordinary people and the ability to hold elected office in the U.S. House of Representatives.
In Federalist paper 52, James Madison wrote, “Under these reasonable limitations, the door of this part of the federal government is open to merit of every description, whether native or adoptive, whether young or old, and without regard to poverty or wealth, or to any particular profession of religious faith.”
I love the idea of a government “by the people and for the people.” I very much agree with the Founders’ vision of a citizen government, comprised of locals, voted in by their peers, who must exist under the laws that they help to pass. But each district has specific strengths and concerns that are only truly understood by someone who is a full-time resident of that district.
That is why I believe that the person best suited to represent a district is someone who has strong ties to that district, someone who lives, works, shops, and socializes there, someone who will be accountable to the people in that district because they are not just constituents— they are friends and neighbors.
I am running to be a representative in Nevada’s first congressional district. I have lived in this district for almost 30 years. I own a home here. I raised my children here. I ran a small business here. I attend church and volunteer in this community.
I want what is best for America and this beautiful slice of Southern Nevada because it is my home. I will represent us with honesty and courage in Washington DC. I will fight for freedom, family, and prosperity.