House candidates who reside outside the district

New York City Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito
New York City Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito
William Alatriste/Shutterstock
New York City Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito

House candidates who reside outside the district

Congressional candidates only have to live in the same state.
May 21, 2020

It certainly helps when candidates live in the congressional district they want to represent, but it’s not a deal breaker when they don’t. Unlike state lawmakers, members of the House of Representatives aren’t required to live in their district, provided they do live somewhere in the state.

Though a candidate from the North Country likely wouldn’t seek a seat on Long Island, some do live nearby but technically outside of the district. Here are a few examples this cycle.

Melissa Mark-Viverito

Running for: Congressional District 15

Lives in: Congressional District 13

Melissa Mark-Viverito technically doesn’t live in the same borough she wants to represent – she calls Manhattan’s East Harlem home while running for a seat in the South Bronx. But like a rival candidate, New York City Councilman Ritchie Torres, the former council speaker represented a part of the district while in the City Council and has noted that she is “literally one stop away” on the subway.

Ydanis Rodriguez

Running for: Congressional District 15

Lives in: Congressional District 13

Like Mark-Viverito, New York City Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez lives in Manhattan and is represented by Rep. Adriano Esplliat. But unlike both Mark-Viverito and Torres, Rodriguez has never represented any part of the congressional district as a city councilman.

Rubén Díaz Sr.

Running for: Congressional District 15

Lives in: Congressional District 14

New York City Councilman Rubén Díaz Sr. provided only a P.O. box when he first filed with the Federal Elections Commission, but according to the New York City Board of Elections, the city councilman does not live in the district of Rep. José E. Serrano, whom he hopes to replace. However, Díaz Sr. is a life-long Bronxite who represents a portion of District 15 as a city councilman.

Nydia Velázquez

Running for: Congressional District 7

Lives in: Congressional District 10

A long-serving member of Congress, Rep. Nydia Velázquez technically lives just outside her district, but that’s only because of the last round of redistricting. She lives in a sliver of Brooklyn represented by Rep. Jerry Nadler, which connects his district’s Manhattan section with the Brooklyn neighborhoods of Bensonhurst and Borough Heights. 

Nate McMurray

Running for: Congressional District 27

Lives in: Congressional District 26

Living on the east side of Grand Island, which borders Canada, Nate McMurray is separated from the district he wants to represent by the Niagara River. The island is part of Rep. Brian Higgins’ Buffalo district. But that hasn’t stopped McMurray, who’s running his second campaign to replace Chris Collins in the District 27 seat after falling short in 2018.

Rebecca C. Lewis
is a staff reporter at City & State.
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