DES MOINES, Iowa — “Actual residency” is outlined in the Iowa Constitution as a way to establish the living requirements for those running for political office in the state.
The Iowa Constitution says that, “at the time of his election he shall have an actual residence of sixty days in the county, or district he may have been chosen to represent.”
Senate Majority Leader Jack Whitver’s opponent in Iowa Senate District 23 isn’t disputing whether or not Whitver is following what the law allows.
“I think it is important for the people of our district to have a senator who represents them to live in our district,” said Matt Pries, the Democratic candidate for the district. “If he lives there that’s great and if there are challenges to his residency, you know, that is up to other people to determine. For my part, my family and I have lived in Grimes for 16 years.”
Pries said that he has heard of the concerns of whether or not Whitver lives in the district or not. Pries wants whoever wins the election to actually live in the community and be involved in it.
When Whitver last ran for office, he ran under an Ankeny address. The Senate Majority Leader announced his intentions to move when the redistricting map was finalized last fall.
WHO 13 News received documents from Jack Whitver’s communications team that support the Senator’s residence in Grimes.
Among those, there was a homestead tax credit change showing he officially changed his address on August 1, 2022. There is also a record of ownership from the Polk County Assessor showing he and his wife’s name on it and it says the couple has owned the property since 2019. His communications team also shared a redacted version of his license with the Grimes address and a water bill from the property that shows usage in the month of September.
“Senator Whitver resides on Glenstone Dr. in Grimes,” said Caleb Hunter, the Communications Director for the Office of the Senate Majority Leader. “When he is not traveling, he stays at the residence he owns in Grimes. Senator Whitver will continue to represent many of the same constituents as he has for the last several years.”
The law, as outlined in the state constitution, does not have any other specifications on what those running for office need to provide other than their actual residence. All of the documents received from Whitver’s communications team indicates that the Senator is following what the law requires.
There can be challenges to these residency requirements, which could happen in this race, but it would not occur until after the scheduled election. This is because of Iowa Code 48A.14 where a “challenge filed less than seventy days before a regularly scheduled election shall not be processed until after the pending election,”. The challenge is filed through the Iowa Secretary of State’s Office.