Hawaii voters have been forgiving of members of Congress who live outside the districts they represent, a vestige, most likely, of the days when the islands had only one district. Both U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, and U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, D-Hawaii, live outside their districts.
Many Republicans — and, in the case of Hirono, Kauai Democrats — have tried to make residency a political issue, but it has not had much of an influence on voters.
The upcoming race to replace Hirono in the 2nd Congressional District, which covers rural Oahu and the Neighbor Islands, will likely draw candidates from outside the 2nd District. Hirono is running for the U.S. Senate to replace U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii.
Residency, however, appears to be more of a factor on the Mainland, where allegations of carpet-bagging can sting.
The New York Times reported that residency had become an issue in a special election for Congress in upstate New York. The Democrat, Erie County Clerk Kathy Hochul, lives in a village just outside the district and could not vote for herself.
It is the closing ritual of campaigns: a candidate emerging from behind a polling booth curtain and giving the thumbs-up sign to photographers as they snap away. But there will be no such moment Tuesday for Kathy Hochul, the Democratic candidate in a nationally watched election in a Congressional district in western New York.
“She can’t vote,’’ Fabien Levy, spokesman for Ms. Hochul, explained.
But it turns out upstate New York voters were more interested in issues such as Medicare. Hochul scored a surprise victory today in the conservative district.
Two months ago, the Democrat, Kathy Hochul, was considered an all-but-certain loser in the race against Jane Corwin. But Ms. Hochul seized on her Republican rival’s embrace of the proposal from Representative Paul D. Ryan, Republican of Wisconsin, to overhaul Medicare, and she never let up.
Voters, who turned out in strikingly large numbers for a special election, said they trusted Ms. Hochul, the county clerk of Erie County, to protect Medicare.