(CNN) – Republican Sen. Dick Lugar of Indiana responded Friday to recent reports that show he doesn’t live in the state he’s been representing for more than 35 years.
The longtime senator told CNN he maintains a residence for “political purposes” in Indianapolis but doesn’t live at the physical address-staying in hotels around the state, instead.
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Lugar pointed to a loophole in Indiana law that protects his residency status while he lives and works in the Washington, D.C. area.
According to the state’s constitution, an absent individual does not lose residence as long as he or she is away “on the business of the State of Indiana or the United States.”
The longtime senator listed his voting address as 3200 Highwoods Court in Indianapolis but said his actual home is located in McLean, Virginia–a Washington suburb.
According to a recent report by The Daily Caller, a conservative news website, the woman who owns the house at the Indiana address said she knew that Lugar had built the home, but she was not aware he had been voting from that address.
The Daily Caller wrote the story after an Indiana tea party supporter and investigator began looking into Lugar’s residency situation.
Responding to the article, Lugar deemed the report “unfair.”
"It's a, I think a very unfair attack…because this is purely the law, two attorneys general have ruled that, specifically so that there was never any ambiguity for the last 36 years," he said.
The senator served as mayor of Indianapolis from 1968-1975, according to his website. He was elected to the Senate in 1976.
Brad King, co-director of the Indiana Election Division, said as long as an individual establishes residency before he or she leaves the state for work, the law permits that person to remain a resident, no matter how long that person is gone.
As for voting standards, King said voters must list a residence when they first register to vote, but they’re not required to show proof of residence.
If they move, they’re directed to indicate a change of address but, again, not required to prove the change.
- CNN's Ashley Killough contributed to this report.