Judge hears arguments over legitimacy of Shreveport Mayor Adrian Perkins’ candidacy
Decision expected by the afternoon of Tuesday, Aug. 2
SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) — Will he or won’t he be allowed on the ballot come November?
That’s the question hanging over Shreveport Mayor Adrian Perkins’ re-election campaign.
And that decision will come from a judge who heard arguments Monday, Aug. 1 for and against that happening.
A lawsuit filed last week alleges that Perkins filed false or inaccurate information regarding his legal address when he filled out his official candidate qualifying papers at the clerk of court’s office.
Now Judge Brady O’Callaghan has the case, and Louisiana law is clear.
Following arguments, he has 24 hours to issue his ruling.
So by the afternoon of Tuesday, Aug. 2, we will know whether Perkins’ re-election campaign is good to go or whether he is disqualified from running for a second term.
In the most simple of terms, here’s what is going on.
Only July 22, Perkins filed what’s called his qualifying form or notice of candidacy.
On the top of that form is a box where candidates put their domicile address.
Perkins listed the address of a townhome on Stratmore Drive. That’s is also where he was registered to vote when he filed for re-election.
But according to the lawsuit — and by Perkins’ own admission through lawyers, he lives downtown in a condo on Marshall Street and has a homestead exemption there.
Louisiana law, according to the lawsuit, states that if you collect a homestead exemption, that is the address where you must vote and qualify to run for office.
In court Monday, Aug. 1, Perkins admitted to changing his voter registration to match his downtown condo address and homestead exemption.
And on the stand, he testified that the error on his qualifying papers was made because he was in a hurry and was distracted by lights from TV cameras in the clerk’s office.
Perkins said he initially planned to qualify two days earlier but was told by his attorney he had to first pay some ethics and campaign finance fines.
So after that was taken care of, he was in a hurry and simply made a mistake on the paperwork. One his lawyers say shouldn’t disqualify Perkins because he has always lived and been a registered and qualified voter.
However, Judge O’Callaghan seemed to side with case law cited by lawyers representing the man filing the case — Francis Dean — that the error is a material flaw, whether intentional or not, and would mean Perkins faces a real risk of being disqualified.
If that happens, Perkins can appeal immediately to the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeal here in Shreveport.
THE OTHER CHALLENGE
The other challenge came against Councilman James Green.
It claimed that he filed paperwork but did not, in fact, reside at his home on Evers Drive in Shreveport.
But after a 1.5-hour hearing before Judge Pitman, that case was tossed out.
The judge said there was plenty of evidence — from tax papers, utility bills and driver’s license — to prove Councilman Green resides in the district he represents.
On Tuesday, we plan to stay in touch with attorneys and the clerk’s office regarding the Perkins case. So as soon as we get word of whether Perkins has been disqualified or is still in the race for mayor, we will let you know here online, on our app and on KSLA News 12.
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