How important is it that a candidate Congress or the General Assembly live within the district for which he or she is running? While most voters likely assume that candidates are running for offices where they reside, it's not always the case. Sometimes candidates run based on a districts' demographics, voting history, or the availability of the office.
At least three GOP primary candidates live outside their districts. Election law does not require candidates to live within the districts they are seeking to represent. However, most move into the district either before circulating petitions or after they win election.
Illinois Review reported earlier this year that 8th CD GOP candidate Manju Goel lives outside the district. Goel tells voters that she is living 13 miles out of the district, but has property within the district on which she pays property taxes.
"I have served the people of the district as I worked for Advocate Health. My husband worked in this district for five plus years," she said. "I have friends, and family and my temple is in the 8th District as well. As far as I am concerned people of District 8 are no different than people from any other district, state or from the people of United States as they all have same issues. They are all concerned about uncertainties of their jobs, national debt and Obama care. This is what and where our focus should be."
Chris Balkema, who lives outside the 11th congressional district resides in Grundy County's Channahon. He told Illinois Review the he has two school age children, and that is the reason why they remain outside the 11th CD. That will change if he wins, Balkema said.
"We would have moved earlier but we did not want to take the kids out of school during the school year. We will locate to the middle of the district as soon as the kids are out of school this spring. I work in District 11 - both Caterpillar facilities are in the district. I have spent almost all my time in the district already."
Bert Miller, who is also running in the 11th congressional district and lives outside the district told Illinois Review:
"For over 30 years, Bert Miller has built a successful manufacturing business in Naperville (in the district). As a husband, father, business leader, and long-time educational advocate he’s running for Congress for two primary reasons: 1. We need to balance the federal budget and get our debt under control; and 2. We must develop policies that boost the economy, increase job growth and encourage capital investment."
It will be up to the voters to determine which is more important - a candidate's position on issues, qualifications and ability to win in the General Election or whether candidates live in the districts they hope to represent. They'll have a chance to convey their opinions March 18th.