It wasn’t a case of flagrant carpetbagging – it was just an honest mistake!
That’s the excuse that one Democratic Congressional candidate in California has offered to justify the fact that he claimed a home in Bethesda Maryland as his primary residence, as the Fresno Bee reported on Tuesday.
Spokesmen for the campaign of TJ Cox – the candidate in question – said last week that the claim was the result of an “honest mistake” and blamed an error by the state for the “oversight.” Cox has offered to repay a roughly $700 tax credit that he received by claiming the home.
Cox owns several businesses in the central San Joaquin Valley and is running against Republican Rep. David Valadao for California’s 21st Congressional District seat.
The Bee had previously reported that Cox owned a three-bedroom, four-bathroom house in Bethesda and had claimed the nearly $1 million home as his principal residence. Cox also claimed a Fresno home as his principal residence, however, federal tax laws prohibit claiming more than one home.
Asked why Cox didn’t notice the oversight, his campaign spokesperson said that Cox’s family was living there.
“It was an honest mistake that he filled out the principal residence not knowing the legal definitions. His family was living there,” said Campaign Spokesman Phillip Vander Klay.
“That’s just kind of the situation,” Vander Klay added. “We are working to get this fixed.”
Cox had reportedly purchased the Bethesda home for his family to live in while his wife, Dr. Kathleen Murphy, studied public health policy at Johns Hopkins University. Cox lived and worked in Fresno while his family lived in Maryland.
Though Cox’s campaign tried to construe the tax credit claim as a mistake on the state of Maryland’s part, the Fresno Bee found that it had been coded as Cox’s principal residence when he first bought the home – meaning that the credit claim was an oversight on Cox’s part.
But we’re sure that Cox’s inability to keep track of basic tax-related upkeep will have no bearing on his ability to properly allocate how the tax dollars of his constituents are spent.