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Joe Garcia 1 year ago: "unequivocally...I’m going to live in the district." Now: I haven't moved yet. Oops.


It has been almost a year since Joe Garcia told The Miami Herald's editorial board that he'd move into the new Key West-to-Miami-Dade Congressional District 26 if he won.

Garcia won. But he hasn't yet moved. His office said the freshman Democrat is in the process of getting a place.

But it's too late as far as the National Republican Congressional Committee is concerned. The NRCC issued the following statement today rapping Garcia for not yet moving and for an absentee-ballot fraud scandal that rocked his office (background here):

“With the on-going voter fraud investigation, Joe Garcia proved he lacks sound judgment to be a Congressman. But now, how could voters really trust Joe Garcia to represent them if he doesn’t even bother to live or vote in the district?”

Note: This isn't unusual for a congressman. Just ask Allen West, who didn't lived in his Broward County-based district and then unsuccessfully ran for another seat even farther away from his homestead. Like Garcia now, West lived in the congressional district of Democratic National Committee Chair and U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

Not living in your district, however, is a serious no-no for state legislators due to a state constitutional residency requirement that has some legislators in hot water (more here and here).

Still, though Garcia has had typical growing pains for a freshman (finding a place to live in D.C., getting offices up & running), he should have realized that this July 27, 2012 statement to the Herald could come to haunt him seven months into his term:

“What is clear and what I want to state unequivocally is that if I am fortunate enough to be elected by the voters, I’m going to live in the district. And it’s a matter of fact. I know it. I’ve been there. I’ve worked it. And clearly I have a great interest if I’ve dedicated such a huge portion of my life to what happens in the district, living there and growing up there."