Derrick Edwards qualifies

New Orleans attorney Derrick Edwards signed up as the only Democratic candidate to run for state treasurer on Wednesday, July 12, 2017, in Baton Rouge. All the major candidates for the vacant seat qualified for the Oct. 14 ballot on the opening day of the sign-up period.

Advocate photo by Mark Ballard

The Democrat vying to be Louisiana's next treasurer is asking the state ethics board to waive a $2,100 fine for not filing his campaign finance report on time, saying difficulty associated with his paralysis delayed the filing.

Derrick Edwards, who is paralyzed from the neck down by a high school football injury, said his report was 21 days late because he had trouble finding voice-activated software compatible with submitting the finance forms electronically, as required.

"Since I have the correct software now, this is no longer an issue and I will not file any more late reports," Edwards wrote in his letter to the ethics board.

The ethics board staff is recommending the panel waive the $2,100 fine for filing the report Aug. 7 instead of by its July 17 due date. The board will consider Edwards' waiver request at its Friday meeting. Edwards has asked to appear before the panel in person to discuss the late filing.

A New Orleans area lawyer who has never held elected office, Edwards was the top vote-getter among six candidates in Saturday's election, boosted by his status as the lone Democrat in the race.

He will face Republican former Rep. John Schroder, of Covington, in the Nov. 18 runoff.

Schroder is considered the front-runner in the competition. He was endorsed Wednesday by the state Republican Party and by Attorney General Jeff Landry.

Edwards has lagged far behind in fundraising and hasn't received the backing of the state Democratic Party.