Wednesday, November 21, 2012

John LaBruzzo running for legislative seat again?

Posted By on Wed, Nov 21, 2012 at 1:57 PM

Former (and future?) state Rep. John LaBruzzo.
  • Former (and future?) state Rep. John LaBruzzo.
When then-state Rep. John LaBruzzo of Metairie lost a hotly contested race against fellow state Rep. Nick Lorusso of Lakeview in the 2011 statewide elections, many concluded his political career was over, or at least in sidetracked for a while. LaBruzzo and Lorusso, both Republicans, were thrown into the same legislative district after the 2010 Census and redistricting.

Now there’s talk that LaBruzzo could be running again for a legislative seat — this time from Baton Rouge — and soon.

LaBruzzo reportedly moved to Baton Rouge earlier this year — coincidentally, into the House district of Rep. Clif Richardson, R-Central, who announced his resignation last week, effective Jan. 2. Richardson has been battling cancer for some time.

Under the cut: More details, and what LaBruzzo says ...

House Speaker Chuck Kleckley has scheduled a special election to succeed Richardson for March 2, 2013 — and LaBruzzo is rumored to be considering the race. A runoff, if necessary, will be held April 6.

Contacted by Gambit today, LaBruzzo gave a terse “no comment” when asked about the rumors. He added, “I’m focusing on my business right now.” Asked if the latter remark meant he would not seek Richardson’s seat, he replied, “No comment.”

If the former Metairie lawmaker does try to make the race, he may face a legal challenge to his candidacy. The Louisiana Constitution requires candidates to be “actually domiciled” in the legislative district in which they run for at least a year before qualifying. With qualifying set for Jan. 9-11, 2013, LaBruzzo may be forced to prove that he was “actually domiciled” in Richardson’s former district since January of this year.

If LaBruzzo does qualify to run, and if he in fact did move to Baton Rouge at least a year before qualifying, that would mean he moved his domicile less than 12 weeks after losing his last election to Lorusso — and almost exactly when (if not before) his term of office ended as a state lawmaker representing Metairie.

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