Tea party candidate challenges Landrieu’s La. residency

A Republican Senate candidate on Friday asked Louisiana prosecutors to investigate whether Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) meets the state’s legal residency requirement to be on the ballot in November’s midterm elections.

Rob Maness, a tea party-aligned insurgent candidate, said he sent written complaints to the district attorneys in four Louisiana parishes. His challenge came a day after The Washington Post reported that Landrieu does not have a home of her own in Louisiana.

Landrieu and her husband live in a $2.5 million brick manse on Capitol Hill in Washington, but she is registered to vote at her parents’ home in New Orleans, which she claims as her primary residence. The senator and her eight siblings share ownership of the New Orleans home with their parents through a limited liability corporation (LLC).

The Louisiana Election Code states that a U.S. senator must be “an inhabitant of Louisiana when elected.” Maness is calling on local prosecutors to investigate whether Landrieu satisfies that requirement.

“The Constitution, Louisiana law and common-sense says candidates for Senate have to live here when they qualify — all of the evidence shows that Mary Landrieu doesn’t live here,” Maness said in a statement provided to The Post. “. . . The most appropriate way to resolve this is to have the law upheld by the proper authorities.”

A Landrieu campaign spokesman did not respond to a request for comment on Maness’s complaints.

On Thursday, Landrieu issued a statement to The Post, saying, “I have lived at my home on Prieur Street most of my life and I live there now, when not fulfilling my duties in Washington or serving constituents across the state.”

Maness said he filed his complaints to the district attorneys in Orleans Parish, where the Landrieu family home is located; East Baton Rouge Parish, where Landrieu submitted her election-qualifying forms last week; and St. Tammany and Ouachita parishes, where Maness says tax assessment records list Landrieu’s home address as being in Washington.

Landrieu, who was first elected to the Senate in 1996, faces a three-way race with Maness and Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-La.). Under Louisiana’s unusual “jungle primary” system, if no candidate receives 50 percent or more on Nov. 4, the top two finishers will face a runoff on Dec. 6.

Philip Rucker is a national political correspondent for The Washington Post, where he has reported since 2005.
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