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Baltmanis responds to residency questions

While meeting with voters, Baltmanis has been fielding questions about his eligibility to represent Waupaca County in the state Assembly.

He is challenging incumbent state Rep. Kevin Petersen in the November election.

The Democratic candidate lives in the town of Lanark, about one-half mile from the Waupaca County line and the 40th District border.

According to Article IV, Section 6, of the Wisconsin Constitution, a state representative must be a Wisconsin resident for at least one year and a qualified elector of the district at the time of taking office.

A qualified elector is defined in state law as a U.S. citizen, 18 years of age or older, who has resided in the district at least 10 days before any election at which he or she offers to vote.

“I have met all legal requirements to be a candidate for the seat in question, and I will continue to follow the rules as the representative of the 40th,” Baltmanis said.

“A candidate for Assembly must intend to become a resident of that district 10 days before taking office,” according to Reid Magney, the public information officer for the state Government Accountability Board. “Somebody could literally live in one district and run for office in another district.”

“I have more close ties to the 40th District than I do to any other district in the state. Over the years, I’ve been involved in the community issues of Waupaca County more than I have to any other area in the state,” Baltmanis said, noting that he had been a longtime officer of the Waupaca County Democratic Party until he stepped down as vice chairman three years ago.

“We do a large part of our personal business here. My wife works in the district, our two youngest daughters are Waupaca High School graduates, and most of our friends live in the 40th,” Baltmanis said.

“I actually pay the majority of my taxes into Waupaca County,” he said, noting that 54 percent of his property taxes go to the Waupaca School District and Fox Valley Technical College.

Baltmanis said he plans to work for a future in which all the residents of the 40th Assembly District “have a shot at the potential their future can hold.”

Magney said a candidate for the Assembly may not be eligible to vote for himself, but he would still be eligible to run for the office if he is a Wisconsin resident.

“It’s really a question for the voters to decide whether they want someone who currently lives in the district or who plans to move into the district once they’re elected,” Magney said.

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