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Free-range politicians: Have ZIP code, will travel
A resident of Lee, which is in New Hampshire’s 1st Congressional District, has declared his candidacy for the Republican nomination in the 2nd Congressional District.
That is his right, under the Constitution. It is also the right of the Republican voters in the 2nd District to ignore this fellow come the September primary.
New Hampshire has but two districts because of our small population. One can argue that the issues faced in either district are not that dissimilar (although the folks hard by the Connecticut River, on the Vermont and Massachusetts borders, may beg to differ that their issues are the same as those living near the Atlantic Ocean.)
Fact is, the closer one’s elected representative is to the issues and the people he or she represents, the better. We find absurd, for instance, the Legislature’s drawing of Executive Council District 2 so that it stretches clear across the state.
Dennis Lamare says those who oppose his running out of his district just don’t understand the Constitution. Perhaps some don’t. But Lamare does not understand political reality. His opponents, including incumbent Charlie Bass, won’t have to debate him on the issues. They can just point to his residence and dismiss his bid as unworthy of voter support.
Unlike Lamare, state Sen. Andy Sanborn and his wife, state Rep. Laurie Sanborn, have relocated. They want to keep their legislative seats, but Sen. Sanborn’s old district has been changed and is seen as less than likely to elect a Republican this fall.
So the Sanborns have moved to Bedford and have filed to represent that area.
As with Lamare’s run, there is nothing in the law that says the Sanborns can’t do this. It is how Hillary Clinton, former First Lady of Arkansas, among other titles, came to be elected as a U.S. senator from New York. Before her, Bobby Kennedy did the same thing.
It is called district-shopping in some quarters, although in the post-Civil War South, such people were called carpetbaggers and the locals were not amused.
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