Republicans seized on a news report Tuesday that raised questions about whether one of the Democrats' most vulnerable senators up for re-election actually resides in the state she represents.
The Washington Post said Sen. Mary Landrieu doesn't own her own house in Louisiana. The paper said she listed her home address on a recent campaign filing with the Federal Election Commission as being her house on Capitol Hill in Washington, which the Post said is valued at $2.5 million. But the paper said when she was qualifying for the ballot in Louisiana she listed the house where she was raised in New Orleans, where her parents still live.
One of her opponents in the hotly contested battle that could determine which party controls the Senate, Republican Rep. Bill Cassidy, immediately sent a fundraising appeal to supporters saying the allegation "isn't actually surprising because Senator Landrieu has represented DC values for a long time."
And a headline in a Republican National Committee press release charged "Landrieu runs for re-election in Louisiana from the confines of her Washington, DC mansion."
In a statement issued by her campaign, the senator dismissed the story.
"I have lived at my home on Prieur Street most of my life and I live there now, when not fulfilling my duties in Washington or serving constituents across the state," she said.
A campaign aide added that Landrieu and her husband both vote and file taxes in Louisiana and that the D.C. address listed on the FEC filing was just a mailing address. The aide said Landrieu has used the Prieur Street address for her qualifying documents for the past few elections.
The question of home state residency has hurt other senate candidates recently. Former Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Indiana, lost his seat in the last election cycle after it was revealed he lived in McLean, Virginia, not in the Hoosier state. Similar questions were raised about Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kansas, this year although he was able to win his primary and is expected to be re-elected.
The Post said the Prieur Street house is owned by Landrieu and her eight siblings in a limited liability partnership for estate planning purposes. It also said Landrieu owns other undeveloped plots of land in the New Orleans area.
The paper quoted one Prieur Street neighbor as saying, "I don't think I've ever seen her." But the neighbor went on to say "I don't hold it against her...She knows our issues, she knows the problems we have."
The Post also quoted a Louisiana State University political science professor, Robert Mann, who said because Landrieu's father, Moon, was a long-time mayor of New Orleans and her brother Mitch is the current mayor, "no one will think Mary is not a Louisianan."