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A Democrat is running for a Congressional seat in a state she's never even visited

A candidate is running for Alaska's sole seat in Congress, despite never having even visited the state. (Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images)

Carol Hafner is running to be Alaska's sole representative to the U.S. House of Representatives. The only problem: She's never even been to Alaska.

Here's what you need to know

Despite running in Alaska, Hafner lists an address in Toms River, New Jersey, and has a mailing address in Rapid City, South Dakota. She told KBBI that she was currently living somewhere in New York but that she was “in transition.”

According to Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution:

No Person 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.

While it is typical for out-of-state candidates to move to the state they hope to represent before running for election (Hillary Clinton in New York, Mitt Romney in Utah), Hafner is not the first person to take advantage of the specificity of the words “when elected.”

In 2014, former-Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska) defeated an out-of state primary challenger (Begich would later lose the general election), and Rep. Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.) won against an Arizona man who had managed to win the Democratic primary. The Associated Press and The Hill both note that Hafner is currently predicted to lose the August 21 primary.

Hafner isn't even the first member of her family to try something like this. Eric Hafner, whom Carol Hafner identified as her son, ran for Congressional seats in both Oregon in 2018 and Hawaii in 2016, while reportedly sharing Carol Hafner's New Jersey address. The Asbury Park Press article from May 14 — the day before the Oregon primary — reported that the younger Hefner had never been to Oregon. Perhaps predictably, he only garnered 1.47 percent of the vote in the May 15 Democratic primary in that state. Eric Hefner had reportedly lived in hiding since 2013 to due to outstanding warrants for drug charges and contempt of court.

Carol Hafner is defiant against people who think she has no right to run just because she doesn't live in the state.

“Don't lock me out just because I'm not a homeboy,” she said, according to The Associated Press. “You ought to be thankful that I care enough and I'm interested enough and passionate enough to want to make things better. I'm certainly permitted to do what I have done.”

Alaska has only has a single seat in the House of Representatives, which is currently held by Republican Don Young.

One last thing…
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