NEW ORLEANS U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu, a Louisiana Democrat in the midst of a close re-election campaign, is under fire from her Republican challengers for listing her parents' house in New Orleans as her home address in election filings.
Landrieu, a three-term incumbent, is a top target of Republicans in their quest to reclaim the U.S. Senate from Democrats.
The senator, who shares a Washington D.C. house with her husband, said that her parents' home, where she grew up, remains her primary Louisiana residence.
"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," Landrieu said in a statement.
The New Orleans house, in the middle class Broadmoor neighborhood, has been her parents' home for decades and is owned by Landrieu together with her family, her campaign said. Her brother, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, lives nearby.
Moon Landrieu, the senator's father, is a former New Orleans mayor.
U.S. Representative Bill Cassidy, a Baton Rouge-area Republican seeking to unseat Landrieu, criticized her as not being a true resident of Louisiana.
"Senator Landrieu belongs in Washington, D.C. She just chooses Louisiana to get reelected," Cassidy said on Twitter.
Tea Party-backed Republican challenger Rob Maness, who will compete against Landrieu and Cassidy in a Nov. 4 open primary, raised the question of her residency last week in a letter to the Louisiana Secretary of State and again on Friday in a complaint filed with four Louisiana district attorneys.
Landrieu's campaign points out that she has long listed her parents' address as her Louisiana residence, adding that she pays taxes and votes in the state and that opponents have raised the same issue in her two previous campaigns, in 2002 and 2008.
Under state election rules, if no candidate gains a majority in the open primary, the top two candidates will meet in a December runoff.
(Reporting by Jonathan Kaminsky; Editing by Cynthia Johnston, Sandra Maler and Diane Craft)