- Associated Press - Friday, April 25, 2014

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Will Brooke, a prominent contender for Alabama’s 6th Congressional District seat, does not live in the district he’s seeking to represent after a 2011 line shift moved the boundary just a few hundred feet south of his house.

Brooke’s 2500 Lanark Road home, in Birmingham’s Redmont neighborhood, is within the bounds of Alabama’s 7th Congressional District, which includes much of the city’s urban areas. However, Brooke says the 6th District has been his home for almost his entire life.

He and his wife are in the process of moving into a new home within the 6th District’s boundaries, he said.

“Every house we’ve ever bought has been in the district, including the one we are in now. Our children were all educated in the district,” Brooke said.

“The only reason we’re not in the district today is because in redistricting in 2011 the line was moved a hundred yards away from our house,” Brooke said.

Federal law does not require federal candidates to live where they run for office.

Brooke said at first he thought they would stay in the Lanark Road home. He announced his candidacy in November. It was the address he listed when he filed his candidate papers.

“We love that house. Our daughter was married there,” Brooke said.

However, he and his wife later decided they should move.

“It didn’t feel right to ask other people to vote for me if I couldn’t vote for myself,” Brooke said.

The Lanark Road home is listed for sale at price of $2.2 million. Brooke said he and his wife closed on a new house on April 1 that is within the district. He said they should be moved in around May 1.

Seven Republicans are vying to replace retiring U.S. Rep Spencer Bachus in the GOP-leaning district.

Political observers have been hesitant to predict frontrunners in the crowded race to represent the district that encompasses a diversity of GOP voices. However, Brooke, the executive vice president and managing partner of Harbert Management Corp., is a prominent name in the field.

He reported raising the second-highest amount of money, behind Homewood Rep. Paul DeMarco, in fundraising reports filed in April. The winner of the Republican primary will face Democrat Avery Vise in the Nov. 4 general election.

While lack of residency is not a legal impediment to running for Congress, it can be a political one if candidates get accused of trying to represent areas where they don’t live.

Brooke says he’s not exactly an interloper since the 6th District has been his home for almost all of his life.

“The truth of the matter is our life is in the 6th District. Every car we’ve ever bought, we bought in the 6th District. Every house we ever bought has been in the 6th District. I go to the drugstore in the 6th District, take my laundry there, buy our groceries there. It’s where our life is,” Brooke said.

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