Despite Electioneering Charges, Louisiana Clerk of Court Heads to Runoff as Leading Vote-Getter
MANSFIELD, La. (KPEL News) - DeSoto Parish Clerk of Court Jeremy Evans is moving on to the November 18th Runoff Elections as the leading vote-getter despite electioneering charges filed against him during the week of the Louisiana elections.
Last week, KPEL News reported that the incumbent Jeremy Evans faces two counts of electioneering for allegedly violating a law specific to campaigning in nursing homes.
Evans was arrested nearly three weeks after he posted on social media photos of him visiting with seniors at the DeSoto Retirement & Rehabilitation Center, Inc. in Mansfield. You will notice in one of the photos that Evans is wearing a shirt with a "re-elect Jeremy Evans" logo and has his campaign literature in hand.
As you can see in the election results below, Evans was the leading vote-getter with 37% of the vote (3,061 votes). He will face fellow Republican Lisa Lobrano Burson, who finished with 29% of the vote in the primaries.
What is the Louisiana Law on Electioneering?
Louisiana's laws on electioneering cover quite a bit of scenarios. Evans is accused of violating LRS 18:1334 which states no candidate can solicit votes, hand out campaign literature or place any political advertising in nursing homes past a certain deadline. You can read the Louisiana law on electioneering more in-depth below:
§1334. Electioneering in connection with voting in nursing homes; enforcement; penalty
A. During the period extending from seven days prior to the time that voting begins pursuant to R.S. 18:1333 for an election until the polls have closed on election day, no owner, operator, employee, or agent of such owner, operator, or employee, or any stockholder of any nursing home or candidate or employee of or agent or worker for any candidate shall perform or cause to be performed any of the following acts while on duty or on the premises of the facility:
(1) Solicit in any manner or by any means whatsoever any person residing in a nursing home to vote for or against any candidate or proposition being voted on in the election.
(2) Hand out, place, or display campaign cards, pictures, or other campaign literature of any kind or description in the nursing home.
(3) Place or display political signs, pictures, or other forms of political advertising in the nursing home.
As the KTBS article points out, the photos were posted on September 20th, well within the restricted time period due to early voting beginning for seniors on September 23rd (restricted time period begon one week earlier on September 16th.
Meanwhile, a week before the photos were posted, KTBS says District Attorney Charles Adams wrote a letter to DeSoto Parish residents giving many reasons - including accusations of allowing some voters to vote twice - as to why he believes Evans shouldn't be re-elected.
Plus, Evans already has been ordered to pay attorneys' fees and civil penalties for allegedly violating Louisiana's public records law in an unrelated case.
Evans himself has responded to the electioneering charges.
My visits to nursing homes throughout DeSoto Parish have always been rooted in genuine care and concern for our elderly community members. These visits are a testament to my commitment to being an active and caring member of our community, regardless of the election cycle. I have many friends in these nursing homes, and my interactions with them have always been personal and heartfelt.
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Gallery Credit: Joe Cunningham