Virginia state senator faces lawsuit over residency requirement

Virginia state senator faces lawsuit over residency requirement
Rate this post

A Virginia state senator who recently won re-election faces a call for an investigation from her opponent and a lawsuit from several of her neighbors over whether she actually lives in the new district she represents.

Democratic Sen. Ghazala Hashmi defeated Republican challenger Hayden Fisher by more than 13,000 votes in the Nov. 7 election. The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that Fisher said he is looking for an investigation and plans to ask state officials not to certify the results. Earlier this week, three Chesterfield residents filed a lawsuit alleging that Hashmi does not live in the new District 15. The neighbors are asking for an injunction to block Hashmi's election.

Under state law, legislators must live in the legislative district they represent.

According to county tax records, Hashmi has owned a home in Midlothian since 1999. That home is within the boundaries of the former 10th District that Hashmi represented before redistricting was completed. Her candidacy filing paperwork lists an apartment in north Chesterfield within the boundaries of the new District 15, where she is running for re-election this year.

Ronald Gay, who is listed in online court records as the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit filed by Hashmi's neighbors, told the Times-Dispatch that he lives around the corner from the house Hashmi and her husband bought in 1999.

Gay said she sees her car and her husband's car parked in the driveway of the house. “I take my dog ​​out every day between 7:30 and 8 in the morning and then I see both cars,” she said.

In a statement to The Associated Press on Friday, Aaron Mukerjee, Hashmi's attorney, said Hashmi moved into his apartment in north Chesterfield in early 2023. Mukerjee said Hashmi updated his voter registration, his car registration and your driver's license to reflect your new residence.

“Therefore, she was a resident of Senate District 15 at the time she ran for office, and remains a resident of Senate District 15 to this day,” Mukerjee said. "She has fully complied with Virginia law and we are confident that this case will be dismissed."

When the Virginia Supreme Court redrew the state's legislative boundaries in late 2021, dozens of lawmakers were pulled into districts with other incumbents or kicked out of their districts. Some moved so they could run in new districts, while many incumbents retired.

Hashmi is not the only candidate whose residence has been questioned .

Removing candidates or incumbent officials generally requires a prosecutor to file a legal complaint. It would be up to a judge to determine whether Hashmi met the requirements for candidacy. The state Board of Elections will meet on December 4 to certify the election results.

Author Profile

Nathan Rivera
Allow me to introduce myself. I am Nathan Rivera, a dedicated journalist who has had the privilege of writing for the online newspaper Today90. My journey in the world of journalism has been a testament to the power of dedication, integrity, and passion.

My story began with a relentless thirst for knowledge and an innate curiosity about the events shaping our world. I graduated with honors in Investigative Journalism from a renowned university, laying the foundation for what would become a fulfilling career in the field.

What sets me apart is my unwavering commitment to uncovering the truth. I refuse to settle for superficial answers or preconceived narratives. Instead, I constantly challenge the status quo, delving deep into complex issues to reveal the reality beneath the surface. My dedication to investigative journalism has uncovered numerous scandals and shed light on issues others might prefer to ignore.

I am also a staunch advocate for press freedom. I have tirelessly fought to protect the rights of journalists and have faced significant challenges in my quest to inform the public truthfully and without constraints. My courage in defending these principles serves as an example to all who believe in the power of journalism to change the world.

Throughout my career, I have been honored with numerous awards and recognitions for my outstanding work in journalism. My investigations have changed policies, exposed corruption, and given a voice to those who had none. My commitment to truth and justice makes me a beacon of hope in a world where misinformation often prevails.

At Today90, I continue to be a driving force behind journalistic excellence. My tireless dedication to fair and accurate reporting is an invaluable asset to the editorial team. My biography is a living testament to the importance of journalism in our society and a reminder that a dedicated journalist can make a difference in the world.