City Cast

What is a Shadow Representative?

Kaela Cote-Stemmermann
Kaela Cote-Stemmermann
Posted on October 7, 2022   |   Updated on June 18
Always on the outside looking in, sigh. (An Kirillova/Getty Images)

Always on the outside looking in, sigh. (An Kirillova/Getty Images)

When you see it on your ballot, you might think you’re voting for a Batman villain, but the shadow rep is actually an advocacy-like position with a long history.

What is a shadow delegate?
When territories were seeking entrance into the young United States, they would send shadow delegations to D.C. to advocate for statehood. Now, D.C. and Puerto Rico are the only states with shadow delegations.

D.C.’s delegation is made up of one shadow representative and two shadow senators, who would become our Congress members if we got statehood. This year, the shadow rep is up for reelection.

What are a shadow representative's duties?
D.C.’s shadow delegation is made up of unpaid volunteers and advocates for statehood. They aren’t allowed to vote and enjoy little power or congressional perks. Shadow representatives serve two years (while shadow senators serve six).

Who is running this year?

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