Three of the nine candidates who signed up to run for governor have been disqualified from the race for failing to file income tax returns, cementing the field of candidates at six for the Oct. 12 primary election.
Republicans Manuel Russell Leach and Patrick J. Doguet, as well as Democrat M.V. “Vinny” Mendoza, were disqualified from the race after a judge found they ran afoul of a state law that requires candidates for political office to have filed state and income federal tax returns for each of the past five years, the Louisiana Secretary of State’s office said.
Another candidate – Patrick “Live Wire” Landry, a Republican who showed off political drawings illustrating “liberal loons” during the qualifying period earlier this month – narrowly avoided the same fate, after a judge tossed out a similar challenge.
The period to challenge a candidate’s qualifications is now over for the governor’s race, meaning the field is now set at six candidates, said Tyler Brey, spokesman for the Secretary of State’s office.
Landry, of New Orleans, along with Leach, a Natchitoches contractor; Doguet, of Rayne; and Mendoza, of Ponchatoula, were challenged by Miracle Hope Lane, an East Feliciana Parish voter, and James R. Bullman, a Baton Rouge attorney. Don Cazayoux, the former congressman and U.S. Attorney, represented the plaintiffs.
None of the three disqualified candidates were well-known. The field of candidates that will appear on the Oct. 12 primary ballot includes three major candidates, Gov. John Bel Edwards, D-Amite; Congressman Ralph Abraham, R-Alto; and businessman Eddie Rispone, R-Baton Rouge.
The three other candidates who will also appear on the ballot are Oscar “Omar” Dantzler, D-Hammond; Gary Landrieu, No Party-Metairie; and Landry.
All six will appear on the ballot on Oct. 12, and if no candidate receives more than 50%, the top two will advance to a runoff election Nov. 16.
Along with the three governor’s candidates, six state legislative candidates were also disqualified, according to Louisiana Secretary of State records. Two state senate candidates, including current state Rep. Barbara Norton, D-Shreveport, a candidate for Senate District 39, were disqualified, along with four candidates for the state House. R.A. “Skip” Galan, no party-Kenner candidate for Senate District 10, was disqualified.
The candidates for the state House who were disqualified are: Amy Pollard, D-Baton Rouge, District 61; Belden “Noonie Man” Batiste, No Party-New Orleans, District 97; Harold John, D-New Orleans, District 99; and Shondrell Perrilloux, No Party-Laplace, District 57.