District Judge David W. Arceneaux ruled on Friday that a candidate running in state House District 52 will not be allowed to appear on the Oct. 24 ballot as both a Republican and a Democrat.
As reported here last week, former state Rep. Damon Baldone of Houma was pursuing the dual registration because he felt his constitutional rights were violated when the Terrebonne Parish registrar of voters forced him to register as “other.” He had originally attempted to register with both mainline parties simultaneously.
Baldone, who was a Democrat before switching his registration, said he still hopes to become Louisiana’s first hybrid party candidate.
“I’ll be appealing the ruling,” he said.
Citing case law, Arceneaux ruled that “the state had a strong and legitimate interest in minimizing ballot-engendered voter confusion or deception generally.”
Baldone said his goal is not to confuse, but to head off the splintering of the Louisiana Legislature along party lines. He said wanted the opportunity to be able to work with both parties and the ability to attend caucus meetings for Democrats and Republicans, although it isn’t clear if either party would permit such a crossover.
Baldone is running to replace House Natural Resources Chairman Gordy Dove, R-Houma, who is term limited. Also expected to qualify in the race are two Republicans, Jerome Zeringue, formerly Gov. Bobby Jindal’s top coastal aid, and J.J. Buquet, who owns Buquet Distributing in Houma.