10News learned on Tuesday that Rep. Bob Filner has moved from Chula Vista to San Diego as he gears up for a possible run for San Diego mayor.
Filner's new home is in the 40-story Vantage Pointe Apartments on Ninth Avenue in downtown San Diego.
The move is significant because Filner has lived in the South Bay within the boundaries of the 51st Congressional District for almost two decades.
However, decades ago, Filner lived in San Diego. He was first elected to the school board in 1979, then to City Council in 1987 and then to Congress in 1992. For that, he relocated to Chula Vista to represent the 50th Congressional District, which is now the 51st District.
Filner has expressed interest in running for mayor of San Diego and relocating would be a logical political move.
Though it is not illegal for politicians to live outside their district, the U.S. Constitution says they must live within the state. Voters may not act favorably toward a representative who lives away from the district, so most politicians establish residence in the district where they are seeking election.
Sweetwater Union High School District Board President John McCann told 10News that if Filner left Congress, there would be a "cataclysmic shift in the political landscape."
He predicted that many candidates would scramble to replace Filner, who has not yet filed papers to run for San Diego mayor.
When asked about the reaction in Filner's district which covers the South Bay and all of Imperial County McCann responded, "When somebody theoretically moves out of the district, I think it shows that they are trying to look to the next level. The question is, 'Is he going to continue to focus on his home constituents or is the election going to consume him so he's not really able to do his congressman job?'
I would hope the congressman would still focus on his constituents. We'll see what happens."
Repeated calls to Filner's office for comment have not been returned.
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