Curtis Bostic wants to represent Beaufort County and the rest of the 1st Congressional District -- even though he doesn't live in the district.
Bostic, a former Charleston County Council member, lives outside Ravenel in Charleston County. His house and farm, named Peaceful Way, are in Rep. Jim Clyburn's 6th District.
All of the other candidates live within the district, according to the state's Republican and Democratic parties. (Former Gov. Mark Sanford, who lives in the Dockside Condos complex in downtown Charleston, resides within feet of the district line.)
Bostic said Monday his property, 7218 S.C. Highway 165, is about 4,500 feet from the district line that separates the 1st and 6th districts.
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"But my office, my rental properties, my church, my dentist, my kids' co-op schools -- all of that is in the district," Bostic said.
Federal law allows those seeking congressional seats to live in other districts. State law is silent on residency requirements for congressional candidates, but it requires legislative candidates to live in the district when they file to run, and those seeking county council seats must live in the district by Election Day.
If Bostic wins the seat formerly held by Tim Scott, it likely would be a first. S.C. politicos contacted Monday could not think of any successful congressional candidates who lived outside their districts.
Shell Suber, a Columbia-based political strategist, said the situation is likely to turn off some voters, but not many.
"There will be some voters who are not trying to select their candidate but who are just trying to eliminate candidates off of a very long list. And this will be enough of a reason," Suber said. "But for many voters, it won't matter. He has represented people in the area on County Council. It's not as if he's some newcomer who just decided to move to the area to run for the seat."
Bostic he and his wife purchased the Ravenel property about seven years ago as a place his family could live and also provide a free space that nonprofits, churches and other groups in the district could use for events.
"We have thousands of people who come through every year, and we don't charge them to use it," he said.
Each year, groups ranging from Habitat for Humanity to the Boy Scouts use the space for picnics, awards dinners and other civic events, Bostic said. That includes the annual Charleston Salutes!, which honors area emergency workers each Sept. 11, and a Fourth of July celebration that is open to the community and includes a fireworks display, pie-eating contest and a live band.
The property features a basketball court, a pond for boating, walking trails, playground equipment and an enclosed pavilion with dining and recreation rooms, Bostic said.
He and his family live in a home at the back of the property. Charleston County property records list it as a 6,428-square-foot house, one of seven properties Bostic owns.
The Bostic family of seven lived in a mobile home for 11 years to save the money for the property, said Bostic, a personal-injury attorney.
Bostic, whose first TV ad began airing Monday, said he does not think voters will mind that he lives in the 6th District.
"All of my activities of daily living happen in the district. And we bought the space, and it's used by groups in the district," he said.