LA Attorney General: No Opine on Breaux’s Eligibility

By Jennifer Parker

Apr 13, 2007 2:35pm

ABC News’ Tahman Bradley Reports: The Louisiana Attorney General says he has no opinion on whether former Sen. John Breaux D-La., meets the states’ qualifications to run for governor, a move that may ultimately mean the dispute over Breaux’s residence will be fought in court.

Breaux, who moved to Maryland in 2005 to become a lobbyist after he left office, sought Attorney General Charles Foti’s opinion about his eligibility because the Louisiana state Constitution requires a candidate for governor to have been a "citizen" of the state for the previous five years.   

"I must refrain from rendering an opinion on the ultimate issue of whether Mr. Breaux meets the qualification to become a candidate for the governor’s race," Attorney General Charles Foti, a Democrat, wrote in an opinion made public on Friday.

Breaux is presumed to be qualified if he chooses to run unless his qualifications are challenged, Foti also wrote. 

In a statement e-mailed to reporters, Breaux seemed to suggest that he does not view Forti’s opinion as a setback to his possible entry into the 2007 Louisiana gubernatorial race. 

"I was hopeful that the Attorney General would have been able to issue an opinion on my qualifications to run for Governor," he said.   

Breaux added that he is in the process of reviewing the Attorney General’s statement and that he would have more to say about the gubernatorial contest in the coming days.

Should he decide to run, Breaux is almost certain to have his residence challenged in court. 

For the past several weeks, The Republican Party of Louisiana has been hoping to prove Breaux is ineligible for the state’s top job.  In addition to a website focused on "Exposing the Truth About Lobbyist John Breaux’s (D-MD) Citizenship," last week, the Louisiana GOP published documents which claim Breaux filed for a non-resident hunting license application with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.

"We firmly believe that Lobbyist John Breaux does not meet the requirements to run for Governor of Louisiana, said GOP state party director James Quinn.

"We will let the public know the great lengths he has taken since he left office to distance himself from this great state."

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