JANESVILLE (WKOW) -- It may be a first: Every major party candidate - including incumbent state assembly speaker Mike Sheridan - lives outside the Janesville area assembly district they are vying to represent.
State law requires an office holder to live in the assembly district he or she represents within ten days of election.
The 44th Assembly district encompasses much of Janesville, but not all of it.
Democrat Sheridan has used a clause in the law permitting temporary absence, as his housing has fluctuated due to a divorce.
Sheridan's spacious Ruger Avenue home in Janesville is for sale, as is republican candidate Joe Knilans' Alpine Drive home in Janesville.
Another Republican candidate, Janesville native Charlie Knipp lives in Madison.
"I will have a place in Janesville," Knipp told WKOW27 News. "It will meet all the requirements."
Republican candidate Kenneth Brotheridge lists only a Janesville post office box on his state campaign paperwork. Brotheridge works in Rockford, Illinois.
Late Friday, Brotheridge contacted WKOW27 News and said he signed a lease on an apartment within the boundaries of the 44th Assembly district.
One candidate for the office does currently live in the district. That's Libertarian Tim Blake.
"I think it's important to be in touch with the people here in the area."
"The representative should live in the district," Knilans told WKOW27 News. Knilans said win or lose, he and his family are moving to the 44th to also be closer to the family's church and his children's school.
Knipp said he worked in Janesville for years and commuted from Madison. Knipp said if he wins, he will likely rent in Janesville and maintain his Madison home, but will not collect benefits available to lawmakers living outside of Madison for living and commuting expenses.
"No per diem and no mileage for me."
If Janesville resident Blake wins, he will not be a stranger to the capitol city as he serves in the assembly. Blake works at Madison's Oscar Mayer plant.
Online reporting by Tony Galli
JANESVILLE (WKOW) -- Four candidates, including the incumbent, who are vying to represent the Janesville area's 44th state assembly district next year share a similar problem.
They have to move.
Two of them, including Rep. Mike Sheridan (D-Janesville), the state assembly speaker, have listed their homes for sale.
The imperative to relocate exists because Sheridan and his three other Republican challengers live outside the boundaries of the 44th and its roughly 56,000 constituents.
Sheridan has been allowed to continue to represent the district because his absence is considered temporary, the product of moves as the result of divorce proceedings. Sheridan is outside the district but his address is in the city of Janesville.
One of his challengers currently lives in Madison.
And there's no proof yet another candidate lives in the state at all.
Reporter Tony Galli will have more on the efforts of these candidates to escape the political label of carpetbagger, sell property in a slumping housing market, and the rules on who can serve on wkowtv.com and in WKOW27 News at 6 p.m.