"The fact is that my residency meets the spirit and letter of the Texas election code." That was the response from local attorney and democratic candidate Tina Torres when I approached her outside her "home" in Texas District 117 last week.
I had already alerted her campaign manager to my investigation into her residency, and her prepared response was regurgitated the next day by the head of the Austin-based political action committee Annie's List, which recruited, funded and is lending foot soldiers to Torres’s campaign. “Her residency, and her apartment in Alamo Ranch, meets the spirit and the letter of the election code," Robert Jones said.
The excuse went over like a lead balloon with viewers who saw the hidden-camera video showing Torres staying for the previous week at the house she owns outside District 117. It was an unexpected low point for a well-funded campaign that appeared to be running smoothly and efficiently heading into Tuesday’s run-off election against former San Antonio Councilman Philip Cortez. The district stretches from Helotes to far western Bexar County to the Southwest Side; the victor in the runoff will face first-term Republican incumbent John Garza in November.