State Treasurer Seth Magaziner picked the hottest weekend of the summer to move into Rhode Island’s 2nd Congressional District.
Magaziner, who is running for Congress to replace longtime US Representative James Langevin in the 2nd District, moved with his family from the house they own on Providence’s East Side in the 1st District to a rented home on Norwood Avenue in Cranston’s Edgewood neighborhood, a spokeswoman confirmed on Monday.
The Magaziners moved in over the weekend, and are searching for a house to buy in the 2nd District.
Magaziner is the frontrunner to win a crowded Democratic primary on Sept. 13, but he has faced criticism from some of his opponents for not living in the district he wants to represent in Congress. He recently ran a television commercial featuring his wife and child at a home in West Warwick (in the 2nd District) owned by one of his supporters.
Joy Fox, one of the other Democrats in the race, has been running Facebook ads pointing out that Magaziner wasn’t living in the district. And Republican Allan Fung, the former mayor of Cranston, has been gearing up to paint Magaziner as a carpetbagger.
To run for Congress, you have to live in the state you wish to represent, but you are not required to live in the district. Magaziner has long maintained that as a two-term treasurer, he has represented the entire state.
The decision to rent a home in Cranston while still owning a house minutes away in Providence is likely to open Magaziner up to a different line of criticism from Democrats and Republicans alike: While many Rhode Islanders can barely to afford to rent or own just one home, he has the resources to pay for both during his run for Congress.
Still, it’s a sign that he’s following through on the commitment he made when he entered the race to move into the district. Whether voters care remains to be seen.
This story first appeared in Rhode Map, our free newsletter about Rhode Island that also contains information about local events, data about the coronavirus in the state, and more. If you’d like to receive it via e-mail Monday through Friday, you can sign up here.