By now you probably know Victor Leal is one of two republicans running for the 87th State House seat that is being vacated by long time Panhandle lawmaker David Swinford.
Pronews 7 has received many e-mails regarding Leal's residency asking if he lives in Potter County. According to the state constitution, he has met all of the residency requirements to run for the office.
But our viewers are continuing to ask does Leal actually live at the Potter County address listed on his election forms.
Sunday night Pronews 7 hosted a debate with Victor Leal and his republican opponent, Four Price. In that debate we asked Leal to comment on that topic. When asked what constitutes residency he said, "Living in the home constitutes residency and that's what we are doing we are living in the home. The fact of the matter is that we are residents. Our business is in the district and our corporate office is in the district. So yes, and beyond that the fact of the matter is that our service to the community has always been in District 87. I serve on Carenet which is a pregnancy center,its in District 87. America Supports You Texas, Leadership Amarillo, Chamber of Commerce, all the service that I've been involved in the community on the local level has been within District 87."
Leal also claimed there were factual errors in a recent report by the Globe News questioning his residency. But the newspaper editor Les Simpson said Monday the Globe News hasn't received any complaints.
In an effort to dig deeper and get answers to the questions you are asking Pronews 7 asked Mister Leal's campaign to provide us with utility bills to show that he had been living in the Potter County house.
Leal's campaign released this statement. "Challenging Victor Leal's residency is a desperate ploy by his opponent who is running behind in this race. Our supporters are shocked and greatly offended and saddened by your sensational and disrespectful assault on the Leal family who lost their father this fall after receiving medical attention here in Amarillo. As you know, Victor Leal is a legal resident of Potter County. His restaurant and business office have been in Potter County since 2004. He and Debbie moved their residence to Potter County in the fall of 2009 to assist his father with end of life medical needs and to be closer to his restaurant and business office. All of which makes Victor's candidacy for State Representative legal as confirmed by Potter County Republican Chairman Tom Roller and the Republican Party of Texas. Shame on KVII TV, the Amarillo Globe News ...and shame on our opponent for stooping so low to fabricate rumors on the eve of early voting. This is exactly why we don't need another lawyer in the legislature."
Nothing was said about providing those utility bills.
To be fair, we asked the Price campaign for a response to that, and here's what was sent to us. "Victor Leal's residency situation is of his own making and he is the only one who can put it to rest by providing information and records to back up his claim of residency or by asking for a ruling from the attorney general of Texas. This issue existed before I even filed. Tom Roller and the Republican Party took him at his word, as did I, before the Globe News article. This is Victor's decision to make and really just reflects on him. Throwing accusations around doesn't solve the problem."