VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — 10 On Your Side has confirmed Congressman Randy Forbes (R) 4th District is now in the process of renting an apartment in Virginia Beach.
His Campaign office told WAVY Forbes and his wife “have put down a security deposit and look forward to spending a great deal of time there.”
Forbes’ Communiction Director Hailey Sadler did not say where the apartment is.
Three sources confirm Forbes is getting an apartment at the Mayflower Apartments on 34th Street. Mayflower would neither confirm nor deny the Forbes application to rent an apartment.
Hailey Sadler also says, “Randy and Shirley intend to retain their generational home nine miles outside of Virginia Beach.”
That house is located in Chesapeake in Forbes current district.
Congressman Forbes is switching districts from the 4th where he lives in his Chesapeake home to the 2nd which represents mostly Virginia Beach.
He is running against Delegate Scott Taylor/(R) 85th. Taylor responded to our story “His first political plan of abandoning his people for a better district while living in Chesapeake has failed. Now he wants to try to deceive everyone by renting an apartment? Everyone knows Randy Forbes lives in a big house in Chesapeake, not a small apartment in Virginia Beach.”
It is unsure whether Forbes can and will move his voting precinct to Virginia Beach.
Del. Taylor has repeatedly said, “How can you vote for Randy Forbes who can’t even vote for himself?”
10 On Your Side started looking into whether the Virginia Beach Mayflower apartment would allow Forbes to vote in the Virginia Beach Precinct.
We contacted the Virginia Beach Voter Registrar’s Office. The Constitution of Virginia states “the residence requirements shall be that each voter shall be a resident…of the precinct where he votes.”
Forbes is allowed to run in a district he does not live in, but when it comes to where he votes we consulted the General Registrar and Electoral Board Handbook and the Virginia Administrative Code.
Whether Forbes can move his voting precinct depends on residence which requires both ‘domicile’ and a ‘place of abode.’
According to the Virginia Administrative Code, ‘Abode’ or ‘place of abode’ means, “a physical place where a person dwells. One may have multiple places of abode, such as a second home.”
Congressman Forbes seems to meet this criteria in order to move his voting precinct to Virginia Beach because the Mayflower is a place where he will dwell.
How often he will be there and for how long remain unknown.
The sticky uncertain issue comes with the definition of “Domicile.”
The Administrative Code defines ‘Domicile’ as a person’s primary home, “The place where a person dwells and which he considers to be the center of his domestic, social, and civil life. Domicile is primarily a matter of intention, supported by an individual ‘s factual circumstances. Once a person has established domicile, establishing a new domicile requires that he [Forbes] intentionally abandon his old domicile.”
It is clear that Forbes will retain their generational home in Chesapeake, and that is likely where they will spend most of their time when they are not in Washington.
Here is where Forbes opponents would pounce. The Virginia Administrative Code states, “The registrar shall presume the domicile is at the address of residence given by the person on the application.”
It would appear that ‘domicile’ under that definition would be the Chesapeake home where the Forbes family has lived for generations
How all this plays out is unknown at this time.
Another issue, we also asked Sadler about is if Congressman Forbes will run in the Second District no matter how the U.S. Supreme Court rules on a challenge to the current redistricting plan that forced Forbes to run in the Second for political survival. His redistricted Fourth left him with a voting population that voted 61 percent for Democratic President Barack Obama, and will likely be represented by an African-American.
When asked about his intent to stay in the 2nd District, Sadler emailed us, “Congressman Forbes is 100 percent committed to the Second Congressional District, regardless of any decision the Supreme Court may render in the future regarding the current redistricting issue.”
However, on Monday the lawyer for Forbes and other Congressmen fighting the current districts suggested Forbes could go back to the Fourth District. Justice Sonia Sotomayor asked Attorney Michael Carvin if Forbes would go back to run in his old district if the Supreme Court sided with the Republican lawmakers and implemented the old congressional map that favored Forbes? “Absolutely,” Carvin replied.
To that Del. Scott emailed WAVY, “Randy Forbes has no loyalty to Virginia Beach and the Second District whatsoever. It is clear his loyalty is with himself and his power.”
Two big issues that are facing Republican Congressional District Primary Election voters June 14.