BATON ROUGE, La. – Louisiana Attorney General Charles Foti has decided against issuing an opinion on whether former U.S. Sen. John Breaux can run for governor.
Two state lawmakers asked Foti to weigh in on whether Breaux, a resident of Maryland, can legally run. Foti issued a statement Friday saying the issue should be decided in the courts.
"I must refrain from rendering an opinion on the ultimate issue of whether Mr. Breaux meets the qualifications to become a candidate in the governor's race," Foti said.
Breaux has said he was waiting for word from Foti, a fellow Democrat, before he formally announces whether he's running. Breaux, who has already begun interviewing campaign staffers and has a campaign bumper sticker design, did not immediately return a message for comment from The Associated Press.
Breaux, who represented Louisiana for 32 years in Congress, said he believes he's eligible, even though he's now registered to vote in Maryland. He said he's never voted in that state and never cast a ballot in any state other than Louisiana.
The state GOP has launched TV and internet campaigns saying Breaux cannot legally run because the state Constitution requires that candidates be "citizens" of Louisiana for at least the preceding five years. Republicans argue that Breaux is not a state citizen because he has lived in Maryland for years.
Roger Villere, state GOP chairman, did not immediately return a call for comment.
Six candidates are in the race, including U.S. Rep. Bobby Jindal, R-Kenner, state Sen. Walter Boasso, R-Arabi, and Democrat Foster Campbell, a Public Service Commissioner from Shreveport. Gov. Kathleen Blanco, also a Democrat, announced March 20 that she would not run for re-election.