Rep. Grace Napolitano, center in green, tours a wind farm in Palm Springs. She is just one of at least 5 California members of Congress who live external the limits of your districts.

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It to be the spring of 1998. Then-Assemblywoman grace F. Napolitano was in the middle of a heated fight with fellow Democrat Jamie Casso.

With the main to fill the residence seat opened up up by the retirement of Casso’s father-in-law, autonomous Rep. Esteban Torres, approaching, Napolitano and also her advisors zeroed in top top what usually amounts to a throwaway issue. Casso, a longtime Torres aide, did not live in ~ the limits of the congressional district he sought to represent.

"It is the height of arrogance for Casso to select to live outside the district and also thumb his sleep at the good people who execute live there, in effect, informing them that their neighborhoods aren"t good enough because that him," Napolitano’s campaign manager chuck Fuentes said in a push release at the time. The project used the exact same line of attack versus Casso in mailers come voters.

Napolitano winner that major by 618 votes.

Seventeen year later, Assemblyman roger Hernandez (D-West Covina) was standing in the wet grass that a mountain Gabriel valley park and also dusted off the same residency ploy together he claimed his bid to attempt to unseat Napolitano. This time about it is Napolitano who is being labeled the foreigner. She stays in Norwalk, about 9 miles outside the 32nd Congressional district she right now represents.

“It is ironic,” Fuentes said.


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Source: 2013 California voter it is registered data

Angelica Quintero/
gendergeek.orggraphics


How did the tables obtain turned on Napolitano? Redistricting in 2011. She uncovered herself sharing a conference district v Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-Whittier). Fairly than run against a colleague, she became a candidate in the following district over, which to be vacant. It has El Monte, Baldwin Park and also West Covina. Simply over 46% of its voters are registered together Democrats, 25% room Republican and also 24% have no party preference.

Napolitano is not alone. Of she 52 home colleagues, at least five do no actually live in the ar they represent.

Some state and also local lawmakers have actually been prosecuted for not living in the districts they ran to stand for -- a need under California law. When it involves Congress, federal regulation only needs members live in the very same state together the district.

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Paul Mitchell, vice chairman of consulting firm politics Data Inc., said voters seldom seem come care about such perception issues.

"When you space voting, an especially on large national worries like gun control, foreign policy, taxes, education ... The fact that somebody lives in a different area isn"t specifically going to be a trump card," the said.

But the doesn"t stop campaigns from make the efforts time and also again to raise questions around residency. The worry will absolutely come right into play in very closely watched intraparty congressional campaigns in California in 2016.

"It is prefer pasta," stated Jessica Levinson, a professor at Loyola regulation School who studies election law. "The the contrary is walking to throw it versus the wall and watch if the sticks."

The currently move roughly Honda


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Source: 2013 California voter registration data

Angelica Quintero/
gendergeek.orggraphics


Rep. Mike Honda (D-San Jose) is registered to vote around 8 miles outside of his 17th District.

Honda has actually lived in the exact same San Jose house for years, says campaign spokesman Michael Beckendorf, however after the last round of redistricting he uncovered himself in the 19th District. His colleague, Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-San Jose), has doubled as his representative ever since.

Honda"s 2014 challenger, Ro Khanna, live within the 17th district boundaries. Khanna do the efforts to do Honda"s residency a project issue throughout their bitter and expensive intraparty fight.

Not just did Honda"s home fall exterior his district, so did his ar office.

In the end, Honda won his eighth hatchet by 3 points.

Khanna is earlier for a rematch, though the residency issue has however to emerge as a significant force in his second bid.

McClintock"s big move


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Source: 2013 California voter registration data

Angelica Quintero/
gendergeek.orggraphics


Rep. Tom McClintock (R-Elk Grove) faced attacks from opponents in 2008 as soon as he search to represent a north California district hundreds of miles far from his state Senate district in Ventura County.

As that announced his bid because that the 4th Congressional ar on the actions of the historical Auburn courthouse in Gold sirloin country, a U-Haul van drove around the building carrying a sign reading "Termed the end Tom all the means from L.A," follow to a report in the Ventura ar Star.

Former Rep. Doug Ose, one of McClintock"s rivals for the GOP nomination that year who additionally lived outside the ar boundaries, was responsible for the truck, the Star reported.

McClintock won that race and also has dominated over other enemies who have actually attempted to paint him through the carpetbagger label.

He currently owns a residence in Elk Grove but outside his district and also is represented by his autonomous colleague Rep. Ami Bera.

McClintock project manager john Huey says the congressman intends come buy a house in the district he represents. Simply one problem: he bought the residence at the height of the market before the 2008 crash. That is wait for house prices come rebound, Huey said.

Residency problems surface in open congressional race

State Sen. Isadore room (D-Compton) is also trying to usage the residency issue in 2016 in the hot race to change Rep. Zenit Hahn (D-San Pedro) in the state"s 44th conference District.

His project put the end an Internet advertisement featuring a video of former Hermosa coast City Councilwoman Nanette Barragan talking about her "dream" that owning a home in that wealthy beach city - miles from the ar she is to run in.

Barragan thrived up in the district but only recently moved to mountain Pedro to operation for the residence seat. Her project has brushed off the ad. The voters will have actually their speak in June.

Rep. Jerry McNerney (D-Stockton) make a comparable move when he relocated from his house in the just Area suburb the Pleasanton to the central Valley to stay in the nine Congressional district after it was redrawn in 2011.

His 2012 opponent, Ricky Gill, accused the congressman the never having actually moved. Gill"s campaign went for this reason far regarding have a staffer wait out exterior McNerney"s Pleasanton house to make a video of him picking up his morning paper.

McNerney protected his slow relocate to Stockton and beat Gill by 11 points.

Just over the line


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Source: 2013 California voter registration data

Angelica Quintero/

Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters is registered to vote at her house in the vermont Knolls ar in southern Los Angeles. The home used come be within the boundaries of she district, till redistricting shifted some of Waters" neighbors into the 37th District currently represented by democratic Rep. Karen Bass.

Waters’ 43rd ar is about a three-minute go from her front door around the edge and across Vermont Avenue. That is news to part voters on she block that figured their famous neighbor -- the one who has earned national headlines end the food of she 13 state in conference -- to represent them in Washington.

Seth Greene, a 26-year-old teacher who lives in the neighborhood was stumped when asked who stood for him in Congress. “I desire to say Maxine Waters,” he said. “I understand I’ve voted for Maxine Waters in the past.”

Standing top top his porch ~ above the very same block as the congresswoman to be Catalino Linares, 74, a retired carpenter. The tilted his head ago as that tried to recall his previous votes. Wasn"t Waters his representative? He said he might have significant the box for Bass, however he didn’t remember she name.

“I no know,” he said in Spanish v a shrug.

Waters won she last two campaigns with 71% that the vote.


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Source: 2013 California voter it is registered data

Angelica Quintero/

Rep. Juan Vargas (D-San Diego) lives in the gold Hill neighborhood, about eight blocks exterior of the northwestern sheet of his 51st District, which stretches to the Arizona border.

Democratic Rep. Susan A. Davis is his member that Congress. That too has actually coasted to large victories in his two terms in office.

Orange county Rep. Mimi Walters also lives external the limits of she 45th District. The Republican to be briefly registered to vote at an apartment in Irvine, where she was chosen to a newly drawn state Senate seat in 2012. She re-registered at her longtime Laguna Niguel home in 2014 before winning the congressional seat.

Walters" home is within the borders of the 48th district of Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Costa Mesa), just under 4 miles from her own.

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Questions about residency have the right to matter much less for voter in California due to the fact that of the distance in between the coasts and also the expectation that members -- especially an elderly ones with management roles or seats on significant committees -- will commonly be away, Mitchell said.

"If you room in Delaware you suppose your member of conference to it is in around and be seen, however if you space in L.A. You suppose your member of congress to be a airplane flight away," he said. "You are practically voting for a brand an ext than you room voting because that a person."

For she part, Napolitano is increase front around where she lives. At events, the congresswoman will cite it on she own, to Fuentes" chagrin. Will certainly voters in 2016 check out it as she framed it earlier in 1998, and will her residency matter? Napolitano is shrugging it off: "Well, I certainly hope not."

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UPDATE

This article has been updated to exactly the an outcome of grace Napolitano"s primary win in 1998.