Republican nominee Mark Gonsalves (R-GA-07) criticized Lucy McBath (D-GA-06) for her decision to switch her candidacy from the 6th District to the 7th District in the middle of a congressional cycle.
“In essence it provides a person a credential that they do not deserve or warrant, and there a lot of people that vote and think, ‘Oh, well she must have been my Congressperson.’ Well, that’s not true for 86% of constituents. So, I think it’s very deceptive. That’s how I would describe it,” Gonsalves told The Georgia Star News on Monday.
According to the Article 1, Clause 2 of the U.S. Constitution, “No Personal 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.”
Hence, a House Rep. need not live in the district which they represent.
Gonsalves stated that if elected, he will introduce legislation to prevent congressional candidates from taking advantage of redistricting. He added that McBath should return the money she received from GA-06 constituents.
“I would also put forth legislation, if I was honored by the people of the seventh district to represent them, to stop this. If you switch districts in the middle of a cycle, fair enough, but you have to give your donations back,” he said.
In 2018, McBath flipped the sixth district, which was a historically Republican bastion, whereas Carolyn Bourdeaux (D-GA-07), likewise, flipped the seventh district blue in 2020.
“I do feel a degree of empathy for Carolyn Bourdeaux, I really truly do. You know, She worked very hard to win that seat. That seat had been in Republican hands for 26 years. She did something that no one else had done in 2020. She took a red seat and turned it blue. She was the only one in the whole United States of America to accomplish that and her reward is getting kicked to the curb,” Gonsalves told The Star News.
Buckhead Council of Neighborhoods Security Chair, Amber Connor, spoke with The Star News about the topic on Monday.
“They’re tearing up society by skirting the edge of the law. Like, ‘if I can just go as far as I can before I can get in bad trouble, then that’s where I’m going to go.’ That’s why we are in the state [of things] that we are in because they care more about winning partisan-wise rather than just taking care of the constituents’ needs first,” Connor said.
“There are a lot of these loopholes. Really, it’s a desperation that both parties play, in order to play the numbers game in our house and Senate. I’m tired of the games. I’m tired of the back and forth,” Connor said.
Both Gonsalves and Connor admit that the questionable practice extends to both sides of the political aisle.
“You know what, I’m sure Republicans lean on it at certain times with the district shopping that they do, coming over from one district to another. If you’re going to do that, you have to recognize that you lose that credential,” Gonsalves said.
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Addison Basurto is a reporter at The Georgia Star News and The Star News Network. Follow Addy on Twitter and GETTR. Email tips/inquiries to [email protected]
Photo “Mark Gonsalves” by Mark for Georgia. Photo “Lucy McBath” by Rep. Lucy McBath. Background Photo “U.S. Capitol” by Andrew Van Huss. CC BY-SA 4.0.