MALDEN — The yellow two-story house, squeezed snugly into a blue-collar neighborhood, has been the place Edward J. Markey has called home since he was a toddler and the link to his congressional district since he ran for office 37 years ago.
But his critics view the house as the base he left behind when he became a figure in Washington, married a Beltway player, and purchased a grander house, triple the size, on a leafy cul de sac in the exclusive Rolling Hills neighborhood of Chevy Chase, Md.
Markey, even as he has cruised easily to reelection every two years, has never fully shaken questions about his residence, and by extension, his allegiance to the people he represents.
The Democratic House member was fully aware his residency could be an issue when he declared in December that he would run for Senate in the special election to replace John F. Kerry, now the secretary of state. He polled potential voters, in an unreleased internal survey, on whether it mattered to them. And former senator Scott Brown, a Republican, publicly revived the issue by questioning whether Markey lives in Massachusetts.
A Globe review of the residency question has found mixed results.
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