- Associated Press - Sunday, August 16, 2015

HOUMA, La. (AP) - Candidates don’t have a constitutional right to get on the ballot as both Democrat and Republican, a state district judge has ruled.

Judge David Arceneaux threw out a suit filed by Houma attorney Damon Baldone after the Terrebonne Parish registrar of voters listed him as “other” on the Oct. 24 ballot rather than accepting his bipartisan choice, The Courier (https://bit.ly/1MvADAd) reported.

Baldone, a candidate for House District 52, contended that the registrar’s decision violated his freedom of speech and his freedom to associate with any group.

Arceneaux said Baldone wasn’t being deceptive, but a double listing could confuse voters.

“To allow a person to affiliate with more than one political party through the state’s registrar system would cause confusion, thus preserving the need to register with only one political party, if any at all. I think that outweighs any injury done to Mr. Baldone,” Arceneaux wrote.

Baldone served three terms as a Democratic state representative. He said he wants to register under both major parties because they need to work together.

“It’s to the point where if you register one way or the other, they want you to believe that you’re right and the other side’s wrong, and that’s not necessarily the case,” he said.

District 52, which covers Bayou Cane, Gray, part of Houma and the Lafourche side of Bayou Blue, is now represented by Rep. Gordy Dove, R-Houma. He has held the seat for the maximum three terms and is running for Terrebonne Parish president.

Other candidates for the state House seat include Republicans Jerome Zeringue, former chairman of the state’s Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority, and J.J. Buquet, president of Buquet Distributing in Houma.


Information from: The Courier, https://www.houmatoday.com

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