CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Democratic State Senator Ghazala Hashmi is facing criticism due to discrepancies in her candidate paperwork which boil down to where she lives.
Hashmi is currently a District 10 State Senator who ran for the District 15 Senate seat in 2023. Her ability to run in District 15 is now being questioned due to inconsistencies between her candidate paperwork and real estate records.
In March, Hashmi filed her Certificate of Candidate Qualification with the Department of Elections, listing an apartment in North Chesterfield as the address she resides in. That address is in District 15, which allowed her to run for the seat.
However, the Virginia Constitution requires candidates for the General Assembly to reside in the district they represent, and real estate records show Hashmi has owned a home in the Midlothian area of Chesterfield since 1999. This home was part of Hashmi’s current district, District 10, and is now considered part of District 12 after recent redistricting.
“It’s a well-kept secret in Virginia that, I don’t want to say many, but there are at least more than one elected official across the Commonwealth who maintains multiple residences in order to live the life they want to live and represent the district they want to represent,” 8News Political Analyst Rich Meagher explained. “Maybe those things aren’t happening in the same place.”
Hashmi also filled out an ethics form and checked no when asked, “Do you or a member of your immediate family, separately, or together, hold an interest valued at more than $5,000 in real property?” The form says a candidate should not include their principal residence.
“Is this a crime? Is this a violation that someone should lose their office for? Or is it just a minor mistake that someone made on their paperwork? There is no clear answer to that,” said Meagher.
A source close to the Hashmi campaign said Hashmi does live at the apartment in North Chesterfield. They added that Hashmi’s cars are registered at the apartment and that she sleeps there.
Meagher says even if a judge invalidates her victory, Democrats would still have a 20-19 majority in the Senate.
“Even if you take away Hashmi and replace her, her district is an exceedingly Democratic one and it would be very difficult for a Republican to win,” said Meagher.
8News reached out to Senator Hashmi’s campaign requesting an interview but was told the senator was unavailable.