House candidate accuses opponent of not living in own district

Updated:

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. - The race for Florida's House District 50 seat is heating up. The district includes parts of Brevard and east Orange County, and the two candidates in the race are battling about more than their positions on the political issues.

As Brevard County Bureau reporter Melonie Holt reports, Republicans Tom Goodson and George Collins, are going head-to-head over who actually lives in the district.

Goodson is a two-term incumbent in Florida's House District 50.  However, his only challenger accuses him of not living in the district he currently represents.

"If a representative is going to lie on his oath that he lives somewhere he doesn't, how do we trust him in all the undertakings that he does," said Collins.

Collins points to the homesteaded Rockledge residence owned by Goodson and his wife.  It is just one of the properties Goodson owns in Brevard County.

Goodson told Eyewitness News on Wednesday that home is his wife's primary residence. But the property Goodson claims as his residence, a Titusville condo inside District 50, is owned by his wife and daughter.

Goodson showed Eyewitness News his cable and utility bills, and campaign mailings from his challenger.

"I think this is an uncalled for attack. He hasn't stated any issues, he's not gone after any of my votes; this is all he has to hang his cap on," said Goodson.

Goodson would rather be talking about funding for schools, less taxes and jobs. But along with education and economics, Collins said ethics are a part this campaign.

"This is an issue that concerns me and it should concern the voters," said Collins.

A spokesperson for the Republican Party of Florida told Eyewitness News on Wednesday that Goodson resides, and is a registered voter in House District 50 and has done a great job representing his constituents.

"I have to live in the district to represent this district. I've represented four years in the House, these are my constituents," said Goodson.

Residency complaints were filed with the state attorney's office and the Florida Division of Elections.

Eyewitness News checked, and neither is currently investigating.