GOP congressional candidate Soave still not talking about his residency

Despite repeated requests for comment by the Journal-World, Republican congressional candidate Antonio Soave is still not answering questions about his residency in the district or why he listed the address of the Eudora Post Office as his campaign committee’s address.

Soave is a Johnson County businessman who served for about 19 months as Kansas secretary of commerce in Gov. Sam Brownback’s administration. Last week, he announced he is running for the 2nd District congressional seat being vacated next year by incumbent GOP Rep. Lynn Jenkins.

In a Statement of Organization form filed with the Federal Election Commission, he listed the address of his campaign committee, Soave for Congress, as 709 Main St. in Eudora, which is the address of the Eudora Post Office.

Voter registration records show he is registered to vote in Olathe, in Johnson County, which is part of the 3rd District.

Soave did not respond to emails and phone calls last week when the Journal-World first reported the story. And he has not responded to follow-up emails and phone messages since then.

According to his social media pages, however, Soave has been making public appearances, including one at the Kansas State Fair in Hutchinson, and at a backyard barbecue at the Johnson County home of Kansas House Speaker Ron Ryckman, R-Olathe.

There is no constitutional or legal requirement that members of the U.S. House of Representatives live in the district they represent. They only must live in the state from which they were elected.

In Kansas, however, it is virtually unheard of for people to be elected to Congress from a district they don’t live in. University of Kansas political science professor Patrick Miller, however, says it is not that uncommon in other states.

He pointed to a June 2017 Washington Post article that identified 21 (later updated to 23) current members of the U.S. House who are registered to vote outside the districts they represent.

California has the most such nonresident representatives, with five. Georgia and Texas have two each.