Candidate for Rapides Parish Sheriff accused of electioneering
RAPIDES PARISH, La. (KALB) - Based on a tip received by News Channel 5, Louisiana State Police (LSP) confirmed that Kris Cloessner, a candidate for Rapides Parish Sheriff in the 2023 Primary Election, was issued a citation for electioneering.
According to Casey Wallace, Public Information Officer for LSP Troop E, on Oct. 17, a citizen reported to LSP that a candidate for Rapides Sheriff violated electioneering laws during his campaign. On Oct. 24, detectives issued the candidate a misdemeanor summons for violating LA RS 18:1334, electioneering in connection with voting in nursing homes.
Wallace confirmed that candidate to be Cloessner.
Cloessner lost to incumbent Sheriff Mark Wood in the 2023 Primary Election for Rapides Parish Sheriff. Wood won with 58% of the vote. Cloessner had also previously lost in a 2019 runoff against Wood.
News Channel 5 has asked for more details surrounding the alleged violation, but LSP has not released anything further at this time.
LA RS 18:1334 details the violation occurred a week prior to the time voting begins for an election until the polls close on election day. The violator could have performed any of the following:
- Solicited a nursing home resident for a vote for or against any candidate or proposition in the election.
- Handed out, placed or displayed campaign cards, pictures or other campaign literature of any kind or description in the nursing home.
- Placed or displayed political signs, pictures or other forms of political advertising in the nursing home.
The law applies to an “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.”
A first offense carries a fine of up to $500 or imprisonment for up to six months, or both.
This is a developing story.
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