A Fox Valley congressman is going to live outside of his district after his house didn’t sell. First-term Congressman Reid Ribble is explaining his decision to live in Sherwood, just outside of the 8th District border.
In a statement, he says they tried to sell their house since last year, and now they’re changing their plans because of the unsteady market. The house is in the 6th district that’s represented by Democratic Congressman Tom Petri of Fond du Lac.
The U.S. Constitution only requires that representatives live in their state, and not necessarily their district.
Ribble had an apartment in the town of Lawrence since he took office. He says the challenges to his ties to the 8th district are “just ridiculous.” He says his former roofing business was in Kaukauna, and his wife’s longtime bookstore was in Appleton. The Republican House member adds that he grew up in Appleton and coached volleyball at Appleton East high school for 20 years.
Ribble’s home will be in the 8th District when the new redistricting maps take effect. UW-Green Bay Political Scientist Professor Michael Kraft says it’s very unusual for lawmakers not to live in the district they represent. Kraft says it could become a campaign issue because the decision opens him up for accusations that Ribble is a “carpetbagger” and an “outsider.”
The freshman lawmaker is up for re-election in the fall of next year.