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Sen. incumbent Mary Landrieu hit with residency scandal

U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) speaks during a press conference to urge Congress to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act, on Capitol Hill April 1, 2014 in Washington, DC. The act would ensure equal payment for equal work for both women and men.
Photo by Allison Shelley/Getty Images

In a hotly contested campaign for the U.S. Senate, an incumbent candidate should not be battling a residency scandal, according to an ABC report out Saturday. Incredibly, Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu is facing just that, allegations that she is no longer a resident in the state she represents.

Though married, Landrieu insists she lives with her parents in New Orleans in their home. However, the Democrat also lists a multimillion-dollar residence in Washington D.C. as her residence even though she and her husband both file taxes in Louisiana. Her campaign has not offered any further explanations.

“I have lived at my home on Prieur Street (New Orleans) most of my life and I live there now when not fulfilling my duties in Washington or serving constituents across the state,” Landrieu said in a statement released to ABC News.

Press release notwithstanding, the residency issue has sank many political campaigns, like that of Republican Sen. Richard Lugar who lost his seat in 2012 over the same issue after serving 35 years.

Landrieu claimed her parents’ home in New Orleans as her principle address, and listed it on her statement of candidacy filed with the Federal Election Commission earlier this year.

Nevertheless, the Louisiana Democrat also listed her multi-million dollar Washington, DC home last week when she filed with the Louisiana Secretary of State’s office in order to qualify to be on the ballot.

Republican Rob Maness submitted a letter of inquiry to the Louisiana Secretary of State’s office last week calling for an investigation into Landrieu’s residency.

As an incumbent with years in the Senate under her belt, some say it is odd that the Democrat and her husband do not list a residency, whether leased or purchased, in the entire state of Louisiana.

Maness showed he doesn’t intend to let the residency issue slide by following up Friday with the submission of written complaints to district attorneys and four parishes calling on them to question Landrieu’s qualifications as a candidate. Republican opponent Rep. Bill Cassidy, already slightly ahead in most polls, characterized Landrieu as a creature of Washington.

Landrieu is the second Democratic Party senate incumbent to face charges of deception in recent weeks. Democrat Montana Sen. John Walsh, a sitting senator, unexpectedly withdrew from contention before the general election due to charges he plagiarized documents while a student at a military school.

Even if the residency issue doesn't legally prevent Landrieu from running for reelection, opponents have seized on it to paint the Democrat as being out of touch with her constituency while actually residing in her family's upscale residence in Washington DC.

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