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How are delegates selected for Congress?

The five delegates in Congress from the District of Columbia and four overseas US territories are selected within those regions in the same way as Representatives from US states, via election. Only the proposed delegates from the Cherokee and Choctaw Nations will undergo a different process, being appointed by the tribal Chief.

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There are currently five delegates in the United States Congress, sitting exclusively in the House of Representatives. These delegates represent the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, the United States Virgin Islands, and the Northern Mariana Islands. A Resident Commissioner represents Puerto Rico in the House on similar terms to those of the five delegates.

Delegates have most of the privileges enjoyed by Representatives from US states but cannot vote in the House. They are selected on a similar basis to Representatives, being vetted by party selection committees and gaining endorsement from that Party. The Democratic and Republican Parties both typically field candidates, as do smaller parties, but it is also possible to run as an independent.

Gregorio Sablan, the first delegate from the Northern Mariana Islands, first won his seat as a Democrat but later held his seat as an independent. Elections for delegates are held every two years and are generally on the same ballot with various other internal elections held in that territory for that year.

There are proposals for both the Cherokee and Choctaw Nations to be able to send delegates to the United States Congress, and the Cherokee Nation has already selected Kimberly Teehee for this role. These delegates will be appointed by the tribal Chief every two years and then will be confirmed by the House of Representatives.

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