Q&A on the News

Q: I would like to know how it is that Jon Ossoff was able to run in a primary or any kind of election in the 6th Congressional District if he didn’t live here. Can anybody be allowed to try to obtain a political office in any district no matter where they live?

—Judy Measor, Alpharetta

A: If the political office to which you are referring is Congress, then yes, candidates can run in any district, provided they meet the three constitutional requirements for serving as a representative.

U.S. House members only must live in the state they will represent, but there is no requirement to live in the district, according to Article I, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution.

“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,” the Constitution states.

However, district residency is required for other political offices. For instance, the Georgia Constitution establishes its own qualifications for candidates who wish to hold seats in the General Assembly.

Anyone wishing to run for the Georgia House or Georgia Senate must have lived in the state for at least two years and in the district they wish to represent for at least one year.

Fast Copy News Service wrote this column; Keith Still contributed. Do you have a question? We’ll try to get the answer. Call 404-222-2002 or email q&a@ajc.com (include name, phone and city).

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