Richard Gomez eyes wife’s congressional seat

HOUSE SEAT. Ormoc City Mayor Richard Gomez talks to reporters after he filed his certificate candidacy at the Leyte provincial election office on Wednesday (Oct. 6, 2021). The actor-turned-mayor is eyeing to swap posts with his wife, Leyte 4th District Rep. Lucy Torres-Gomez. (PNA photo by Sarwell Meniano)

TACLOBAN CITY – Ormoc City Mayor Richard Gomez filed his certificate of candidacy (COC) on Wednesday, formalizing his bid to replace his wife, Leyte 4th District Rep. Lucy Torres-Gomez.

Torres-Gomez is eyeing to swap posts with her husband.

The celebrity couple showed up at the Commission on Elections (Comelec) Leyte provincial office here accompanied by local officials from Ormoc, the city which Gomez served for more than five years.

“I want to work with mayors to bring more progress to our district. I want to make sure that the budget is passed on time and the Leyte’s 4th district gets its share,” Gomez told reporters.

Once elected, the mayor vowed to push for legislation aligned with his advocacies on youth and sports development, anti-drugs, and protecting the public against fake news.

Although he is supported by all incumbent mayors in the northwestern part of Leyte, the mayor admitted that it is challenging to run against lawyer Gregorio Larrazabal.

Larrazabal filed his COC on Oct. 4. He was a Comelec commissioner from 2009-2011.

He also served as Comelec-Bulacan provincial supervisor in 2004 and was promoted as regional director of the poll body in the Bicol Region and Eastern Visayas.

“It’s challenging because he’s a lawyer… I have a doctorate degree in public administration plus our track record,” Gomez said.

The Gomez clan and its political allies dominated the Leyte’s 4th District after their bets were victorious in the 2019 midterm polls.

After two failed attempts to win an elective post, Gomez joined local politics in 2010 when he ran as Leyte 4th district representative.

He was disqualified months before the elections, prompting his wife to replace him.

Torres-Gomez was declared winner in 2010 and her substitution was considered by the Commission on Elections “legal and valid.”

However, less than two months before the 2013 elections, the Supreme Court ordered her to vacate the post due to questions on the eligibility of her substitution.

In 2013, she ran in Congress and won while her husband lost his mayoralty bid.

Because her previous term was invalidated, Torres-Gomez’s win in 2013 was considered her first term and now she is the most senior member of the House of Representatives holding the post for 11 years.

In the 2016 elections, the couple ran for the same local positions and both won. (PNA)

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