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A would-be congressman has a really good reason for not living in his district.

At the expense of some votes, he sends a strong message about what matters.

Jon Ossoff wants to represent Georgia's 6th District in Congress, but there's one problem: He doesn't technically live there.

During an interview with CNN's Alisyn Camerota, Ossoff admitted he isn't eligible to vote for himself because he lives just outside of district boundaries. While it's legal to run for office in a district other than the one you live in, it certainly can be frowned upon.

Jon Ossoff. Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images.


Ossoff grew up in the district but moved just south of there so he and his girlfriend, Alisha Kramer, could be closer to Atlanta's Emory University, where she's going to medical school.

Opponents jumped on Ossoff's admission that he doesn't actually have residency in the 6th District, with the National Republican Congressional Committee going so far as to call him a carpetbagger.

The truth is much simpler: Many people relocate for the sake of their partner's career.

Kramer (left) and Ossoff. Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images.

As a society, we've come to expect women to follow men and not vice versa.

Advice columnists have taken stabs at parsing these expectations, finance websites have published articles about how to succeed as a "trailing spouse," and support groups and websites have even begun popping up to help those who follow their loved ones cope with what can certainly be a stressful time. But still, it's often assumed this is a burden that should placed on women. Ossoff's decision to support Kramer shows there's a flip side to that narrative.

None of this is to suggest it's somehow better he lives outside of the district he hopes to represent, but simply that life and relationships are complicated in their own ways.

Ossoff. Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images.

For what it's worth, Ossoff and Kramer plan to move back to the district as soon as she finishes her medical training.

The ability to find compromise and willingness to sacrifice is key in any healthy relationship. Ossoff probably could have rushed to relocate after President Trump selected Tom Price as his Health and Human Services secretary, creating the need for a special election.

But that would have sent a message in itself that his support for Kramer was contingent upon him not having anything better to do. By sticking to the couple's original plan, even at the prospect of losing voters, he sends another message about who he is as a person — and that's just as important.

Ossoff and Kramer meet with supporters. Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images.

This story first appeared on the author's Medium and is reprinted here with permission.

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