State Sen. Ted Gaines is going home but leaving his 1st Senate District constituents behind, at least temporarily.
Gaines recently told recipients of his district’s email newsletter that he and his family are leaving Rocklin after deciding to “temporarily move back into our long-time home in Roseville.” The Gaineses had moved to Rocklin following the state’s August 2011 political remap so Gaines could run for re-election in the new 1st Senate District, which includes Rocklin but not Roseville. Assemblywoman Beth Gaines, the senator’s wife, represents the 6th Assembly District, which covers both cities.
In an interview, Ted Gaines said the renters of the family’s house in southeast Roseville had recently moved out. Attempts to sell the house or find new tenants were unsuccessful, he said, and it was too expensive to continue renting the family’s Rocklin home while paying the mortgage on the empty Roseville house.
“Given the way things unfolded, we felt it was best to move back into the house,” Gaines said. There will be no trouble, he added, serving the constituents of the 1st District, which starts about a mile east of the Gaines’ Roseville home and runs all the way to the state’s northeast corner.
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“There’s not a whole lot of differentiation between where I live and the rest of the district,” said Ted Gaines, who is running for insurance commissioner in 2014. He is up for re-election to the Senate in 2016.
State law requires legislative candidates to live in the district for which they are running. In some campaigns, candidates have accused rivals of secretly living outside a district. State Sen. Rod Wright, D-Inglewood, faces fraud and perjury charges for allegedly lying about where he lived when he ran for Senate in 2008. A trial is expected to start next year.
While a candidate has to live in the district where he or she is a candidate, lawmakers can move out of the districts they represent between elections, said Los Angeles attorney Fredric Woocher, an election-law expert.
“There are many instances in which this has occurred, particularly following a redistricting when an incumbent legislator moves into a different district in order to establish residency in that new district in order to run for election to that office. It might not be the best thing to do politically, but it’s not illegal,” Woocher said in an email.
Gaines briefed Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, Legislative Counsel Diane Boyer-Vine and Senate Executive Officer Greg Schmidt on his intended move and they signed off on it.
“He was very forthcoming about it. It wasn’t a big deal,” Schmidt said. “It’s OK for the time being.”
Gaines mentioned the change of address in last Friday’s edition of the Gaines Gazette newsletter sent to constituents. “We are happy to go back to where we built so many memories and look forward to celebrating another holiday season there together while we look for the best long-term place to continue raising our family,” he wrote.
Ted Gaines represented the previous Roseville-based 4th Assembly District from 2006 to 2011. He won a 2011 special election for the 2001 version of the 1st Senate District, which included Roseville. Beth Gaines succeeded him in the Assembly.
Redistricting put Roseville in the redrawn 4th Senate District. State Sen. Jim Nielsen, R-Gerber, has filed a statement of intent to run for re-election next year in the 4th Senate District.