Convicted Felon Hopes To Be On Fall Ballot
This is Louisiana politics at its finest. Our state has a tradition of taking some of our fallen leaders and putting them back on a pedestal much to the dismay of the rest of the country. Such appears to be the case in Marerro where a convicted felon who has served his time is seeking to be allowed to run for for the Louisiana House of Representatives.
Derrick Shepard, a Democrat, was convicted in 2008 on money laundering charges. He served two years in a federal prison for those charges. He recently announced that he is seeking to represent the 87th District in the Louisiana House. There is one small problem. That problem is the Louisiana Constitution.
Under the Louisiana Constitution, he is prohibited from seeking public office at the state level. Apparently he plans to challenge the constitutionality of that.
That's the assessment of Clancy Dubois a political analyst who spoke recently with the Louisiana Radio Network. Dubois says only time will tell whether or not convicted felon can remain on the ballot. However, that time is fairly short, there are only four weeks left until early voting begins and the issue will need to be resolved before that voting begins.
I would be very surprised if Louisiana courts allow him to remain on the ballot because the voters put that provision in the Constitution and the courts like to honor the will of voters.
Still this is Louisiana politics and who knows where this might wind up. The good news is this, if the courts say it's okay then it's up to the voters. Should the voters choose to be represented by a convicted felon, I guess they should have that right.