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Spanberger’s New Republican Challenger Lives Outside of the 7th District

Tina Ramirez launched her campaign with a video on Monday.

Tina Ramirez launched her campaign with a video on Monday. Tina Ramirez Campaign

Tina Ramirez announced on Monday that she’ll seek the Republican nomination against Democrat Abigail Spanberger in the 2020 elections, even as public records show she currently resides outside of the district where she’s seeking office.

Ramirez, a Hispanic-American single mother who heads a religious liberty group called Hardwired Global, would seem to present a formidable female challenge to Spanberger in the diversifying but traditionally Republican 7th congressional district.

But Ramirez’s federal campaign filing and Richmond property records show a home address near Willow Lawn that narrowly falls within the 4th district, which is currently represented by Democrat Donald McEachin.

Ramirez did not respond to several requests for comment. But her campaign video paints her as a resident of the sprawling 7th district.

“It is my choice to seek the Republican nomination and to change the way that our district is represented in Washington,” Ramirez says in the video.

Ramirez’s home, which sits inside the City of Richmond, is less than a mile away from the border with the 7th District and Henrico County.

The Constitution specifies that a representative “be an Inhabitant of that State in which he shall be chosen” but doesn’t require residency within the district. The Washington Post reported in 2017 that at least 21 representatives were registered to vote in districts other than the ones they represented.

Spanberger’s campaign office did not respond to a request for comment. The former CIA intelligence officer narrowly defeated Republican Dave Brat in November's elections.

Ramirez previously worked at the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, a bipartisan federal commission charged with monitoring global religious persecution, before starting Hardwired Global in 2013, according to her website.

On her website, Ramirez promises “to support legislation that champions our shared conservative values and supports the American family.” The website describes her a “a mother and a Christian first, not a politician.”

Ramirez first filed papers with the Federal Election Committee on April 20.

bpaviour@wcve.org