Are there places you can run for office if you don't live there?

Put this here because it may have a factual answer.

On the TV show “This is Us” Randall is running for a city council position in a city he does not live in. He owns property there, but does not deny that he isn’t a resident. Even for a fictional story this seems pretty far fetched for me.

Is there anyplace in real life that this is actually possible? Are there places one can hold elected office even if one doesn’t live anywhere near the district or isn’t a legal resident of the jurisdiction one is seeking office?

Probably not true but I’ve been told that anyone who is a native of any land that was ever controlled by France is eligible to run for the French presidency. I was born smack in the middle of the Louisiana Purchase and I do like knowing my options.

Congresspersons only have to live in the state. There’s no requirement that they must live in the district.

ETA: that’s for US House of Representatives, of course.

IIRC, a few of the Parkland students ran for Governor of Kansas.

In Canada, you can stand for Parliament anywhere in the country. No residency requirement at all. I think it’s the same for most provincial legislative assemblies as well.

• At one point in the 1870s, Prime Minister Macdonald was the MP for Victoria, BC, without ever having set foot in BC.

• Prime Minister Mackenzie King was the MP for Prince Albert, Saskatchewan for about 20 years while living in Ottawa. He had held a seat in Ontario but lost it in a general election. The Liberal MP for Prince Albert resigned his seat to give the PM a way back into Parliament.

• Brian Mulroney was elected leader of the PC Party in 1983 but didn’t have a seat in Parliament. A Nova Scotia MP resigned and Mulroney won the by-election, although he lived in Montreal, Quebec.

I’ll bet each state has that requirement, though.


Looks like they were all residents of Kansas…

At least 21 members of the House are registered to vote outside their districts

At the recent by-election for the seat of Wentworth, vacated by ex PM Turnbull, neither of the two leading candidates (John Sharma LIBs or Kerryn Phelp IND) were eligible to vote as residents.
Sharma polled 43.1% but after distribution of preferences Phelps won by a bit less than 2,000 votes.

Sharma has since bought into the area and will recontest in the next Federal election, likely May-19. I don’t know if Phelps has or plans to move into the electorate and if she doesn’t soon she might be re-elected without being eligible to vote.

No. It’s been established by the Supreme Court that states can’t add additional requirements for Congresspersons over and above what’s in the Constitution. This came up when some states tried to put term limits on them and lost the resulting court case.

Hmm. So was I. Maybe I should start looking for a campaign manager.

Certainly OK in law in the UK for someone to stand for election without living in the ward/borough/constituency they’re standing for. But you’d have to accept it’s something your opponents would fasten on as a campaigning point.

It would be customary for an MP or a member of a devolved assembly (Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland) to have a home in the constituency, likewise if you’re standing in local elections, you’d better live in the authority area, even if not necessarily in the ward within it that you’re standing for.

Prospective MPs are chosen/selected by local committees. There have been cases, especially at by-elections, where a candidate has been ‘parachuted’ in by the party. This happens when there is someone from elsewhere that the party managers really want as an MP. Local party members and quite possibly the electorate take a dim view, so it is rarely done these days.

The Canadian federal election of 2011 saw several candidates from the New Democratic Party elected in Québec. This “orange wave”, mostly a consequence of the unpopularity of the Conservatives in Ottawa and the sudden popularity of NDP leader Jack Layton, was a surprise to many, including some of the electees. A few rural districts had never even been visited by their new MPs.

In Spain you have to be a resident of the demarcation you’re running in for voting purposes (you have to be registered as a voter there) but that’s not the same as being a resident for tax purposes (this is defined by the “180 days rule”, until Hacienda runs into people like me who commonly do not spend 180 days on any given tax demarcation).

My MP lives in a different county, and it’s not a major problem. It seems to be something people add on when they complain about her, rather than an issue in its own right.

Interesting. I learned something today.

So why don’t people do this more often?

It doesn’t look so good when running for election. One’s opponent can make it an issue.

But I can see why one would want to do it.

I own property in jurisdictions I don’t live.
Local munis can and do enforce rules regarding who can run for city council or village board.
I have no local representation there and have to put up with the thievery and jackassism of the local village presidick. And just keep on paying property taxes. :mad:

Absolutely not true.

The UK has always allowed citizens of the Republic of Ireland and Commonwealth countries to vote and stand for election, while they are resident in the UK. Not so very long ago a New Zealander was in contention for the leadership of the UK Labour Party (and when he didn’t get it, he went back to take up a university job in NZ)