Republican U.S. Senate candidate Rob Maness filed complaints Friday, asking four district attorneys to investigate incumbent U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu’s legal residence.
“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 prepared statement.
He made the requests of prosecutors of the judicial districts covering Orleans Parish, where Landrieu owns a home; East Baton Rouge Parish, where the Secretary of State’s office is located; St. Tammany and Ouachita parishes, where she owns properties that list Washington, D.C. as her home address.
Maness, a tea party favorite from Madisonville, contends that the $2.5 million Capitol Hill townhouse Landrieu owns with her husband, Frank Snelling, a former Monroe bond attorney who now sells real estate in Washington, D.C., is her primary address.
Maness says the U.S. Constitution requires a senator to be an inhabitant of the state that elects her.
Landrieu said, “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.”
Landrieu listed her residence as 4301 South Prieur Street in New Orleans. That also is the address she is uses on her voter registration.
Both the senator and her brother, the current mayor of New Orleans, spent much of their life in the uptown house near Napoleon Avenue, which her father, Moon Landrieu, owned when he was mayor of New Orleans.
Sen. Landrieu now co-owns the home with brothers and sisters. They rent the residence to their parents.
Maness arrived at qualifying last week with a letter asking Secretary of State Tom Schedler to challenge Landrieu’s residency status. He slid the letter to Joe Salter, Undersecretary of Management and Finance, who was handling the paperwork while Schedler was out of the office at a speech.
Maness seemed taken somewhat by surprise when reporters told him that the Secretary of State has no legal authority to launch such investigations. He was informed that a lawsuit would be required and that it would have to filed by Friday.
Secretary of State Spokeswoman Meg Casper said that if a person has multiple residences, he or she can basically pick one as the legal one for voting and candidacy purposes. There is no requirement as to a minimum number of days of residence.