LIVINGSTON PARISH, La. (WAFB) - Questions are being raised about whether a candidate for Livingston Parish council actually lives in the district he’s trying to represent.
Derek Babcock, Muriel Laws, Steve McDaniel, and Gerald McMorris are all looking to be your next parish council member for District 6. However, a source contacted WAFB believing Babcock is running for an office that’s not in the district where he lives, so we went digging for answers.
“Look, the home’s still, it’s in my name. I pay the taxes, all the utilities are in my name. That’s my home, still maintain it, cut the grass,” said Babcock, candidate for District 6 parish council. Voter registration data filed by Babcock shows three different address changes since 2018.
The first two addresses on Magnolia Beach and Juban Crossing are not in District 6.
But the last address, registered one month before qualifying, is Babcock's original home in the district on Quail Run Avenue.
“Changed the mailing address a couple times, I was going through a divorce, and so I changed the mailing where some of my mail was going,” Babcock stated.
WAFB reached out to Livingston Parish Clerk of Court Jason Harris to discuss what a candidate has to do to qualify to run for parish council.
“Must have been a resident of the State of Louisiana proceeding two years, and they must be a resident for which they’re qualifying for, for at least 12 months,” said Harris.
And of course, you have to be 18-years-old, but with the number of different addresses in the past year for Babcock, he understands while it may look concerning, he says there’s nothing to it.
“Even though that was my home, that’s where I still had my domicile and everything. I did double check it before I decided to run to make sure that I was legally okay since I had done some address changes,” said Babcock.
The clerk of court says candidates sign an oath when they qualify, and if anyone has a concern about someone’s residency, you would file a complaint within seven days after the qualifying period.
“As for the time to question their candidacy, it is too late,” said Harris.
Babcock says right now, he’s also got a temporary place in Satsuma that’s still in his district, but he plans to move back into the home on Quail Run Avenue in the future.
He says if anyone wants to challenge the question of where he lives, to bring it on.