One of the candidates for County Commissioner Precinct 3 faces an allegation that he does not live in the Precinct and therefore is not eligible to run for office.
Richard Calvillo answered the charge late Thursday afternoon. "I feel that me and my campaign people have done everything, by the book," Calvillo said.
Calvillo was responding to community activist and former City Council candidate Armando Gonzales, who staged a one-man protest in front of Calvillo Funeral Home in the 200 block of East 19th Street. Gonzales points out that Calvillo owns a home in the 8100 block of Topeka Avenue, which is not in Precinct 3, but the funeral home is inside Precinct 3 and Calvillo claims it as his residence.
"My house is going to sell. Once I win, I am going to build a house out in this area to show that it's a good neighborhood," Calvillo said, "I don't know if I'm going to build it in Idalou. I think that's where I'd rather be. I've driven around over there. I love that town. That's probably where I'm going."
Calvillo allowed KCBD NewsChannel 11 into his office where he has set up a bed. He showed a closet of clothes, and sink with personal hygiene items.
Gonzales disputes the idea. He quoted neighbors as saying that Calvillo has not been living inside the funeral home. Gonzales said "It's like a carpet-bagger, somebody who is just looking for opportunities."
"All I'm saying about Richard Calvillo is we want to know the truth," Gonzales said. "It's honesty to the voter. That's the only reason I'm out here."
"I like Calvillo. He's a good fellow." Gonzales said. But he also asked rhetorically, "If I worked at Dillards for 25 years and they have a cot out there for me, is that good enough that I can run for Commissioner over there?"
Calvillo says Gonzales has a First Amendment right to say what he wants. Calvillo brushed aside the allegations.
As for the house on Topeka Avenue, Calvillo said, "I went to Lubbock CAD over a year ago, switched it over to rental property, took it off of homestead, paid the extra taxes like a good citizen should."
"I'm not going to cheat and say that's my home but live over here and pay less taxes," Calvillo said.
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