Former Rep. Richard A. Tonry (D-La.) faced one more political development today that, in more ways than one, could be described as a reverse.

He resigned from office earlier this month under charges he was elected through "widespread vote fraud" in the 1976 Democratic primary. He said the only way he could clear his name was to quit and run again against the man who pressed those charges, former New Orleans City Councilman James A. Moreau.

A new primary race has been set for June 25. But Moreau, who lost to Tonry by 184 votes in the first contest, won't be facing Tonry again - at least not as a Democrat.

Moreau surprised everyone yesterday, including his wife, by announcing he would run as a Republican primary," said Moreau, 62, who had been a Democrat for the last 41 years.

"The reason? Oh, my main reason for changing is that my philosophy has been more of that of a Republican that a Democrat," Moreau said.

Moreau said he filed Wednesday to run as a Republican - without telling his wife or the lawyers who donated thousands of dollars of works to him in his fight to unseat Tonry on the vote fraud charges.

"It's a fact that my wife didn't know about it. And I didn't tell the lawyers. But it really doesn't matter . . . My activities have always been that of a Republican. Actually, I was considering switching over when the last (primary) election took place," Moreau said.