Report from Louisiana: The New Orleans Mayoral Election

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Report from Louisiana: The New Orleans Mayoral Election

By: Pat Austin

SHREVE­PORT – The 2017 New Orleans may­oral race qual­i­fy­ing period has closed with a total of 18 can­di­dates, only three of which are con­sid­ered major candidates.

As most are aware, New Orleans has been the cen­ter of much tur­moil and neg­a­tive atten­tion in the past few months. Dur­ing Landrieu’s term crime has risen dra­mat­i­cally and what is dif­fer­ent about that is that it is now in the tourist areas around the French Quar­ter which has never been more dan­ger­ous than it is right now.

The Con­fed­er­ate mon­u­ments con­tro­versy has also pulled a great deal of atten­tion to the city both pos­i­tive and neg­a­tive, depend­ing on your per­spec­tive of the issue. At the very least, removal of the four his­tor­i­cal mon­u­ments has made the city a lit­tle less unique and has pulled Landrieu’s atten­tion away from more press­ing mat­ters, like police staffing, infra­struc­ture, and crime.

The major can­di­dates in the Octo­ber 14 pri­mary are “for­mer Civil Dis­trict Court Judge Michael Bag­neris, City Coun­cil­woman LaToya Cantrell, and for­mer Munic­i­pal Court Judge Desiree Char­bon­net.” Crime is cer­tainly going to be the top topic in this elec­tion. “Crime is rav­aging our city,” said Bag­neris, who first ran for mayor in 2012. “Crime is up because police man­power is down, and crim­i­nals know it.”

There are no Repub­li­cans on the ballot:

Fel­low busi­ness­man Frank Scur­lock, who announced at about the same time as the “Big 3,” also could get a lit­tle trac­tion using his own finan­cial resources from his inflat­able bounce house empire and his pub­lic oppo­si­tion to the removal of the Con­fed­er­ate mon­u­ments to carve out a niche.

Scur­lock is one of six white can­di­dates in the field to lead a city with a pop­u­la­tion that is about 60 per­cent black. Eleven of the can­di­dates signed up as Democ­rats, three are run­ning as inde­pen­dents, and four oth­ers are run­ning with­out a party affil­i­a­tion. There are no Repub­li­cans on the may­oral ballot.

As of today, there have been 100 mur­ders in New Orleans this year and count­less shoot­ings, mug­gings, assaults, and other vio­lent crimes.

The pri­mary is Octo­ber 14 with a Novem­ber runoff; Lan­drieu will remain in office through May. Accord­ing to pun­dit Stephanie Grace:

[Lan­drieu] hinted that he hopes to help guide the choice of his suc­ces­sor, per­haps through the polit­i­cal action com­mit­tee he has set up. While he hasn’t endorsed a can­di­date, Lan­drieu has bemoaned New Orleans vot­ers’ his­tory of focus­ing on change and has advo­cated for philo­soph­i­cal and pol­icy con­ti­nu­ity from his admin­is­tra­tion to the next.

This race will be closely watched through­out the state as many who have objected to Landrieu’s Con­fed­er­ate mon­u­ment posi­tion have vowed not to visit the city until he is gone.

If a Lan­drieu clone is elected that tourism ban may continue.

Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport.

By:  Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT –  The 2017 New Orleans mayoral race qualifying period has closed with a total of 18 candidates, only three of which are considered major candidates.

As most are aware, New Orleans has been the center of much turmoil and negative attention in the past few months. During Landrieu’s term crime has risen dramatically and what is different about that is that it is now in the tourist areas around the French Quarter which has never been more dangerous than it is right now.

The Confederate monuments controversy has also pulled a great deal of attention to the city both positive and negative, depending on your perspective of the issue. At the very least, removal of the four historical monuments has made the city a little less unique and has pulled Landrieu’s attention away from more pressing matters, like police staffing, infrastructure, and crime.

The major candidates in the October 14 primary are “former Civil District Court Judge Michael Bagneris, City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell, and former Municipal Court Judge Desiree Charbonnet.”  Crime is certainly going to be the top topic in this election.  “Crime is ravaging our city,” said Bagneris, who first ran for mayor in 2012. “Crime is up because police manpower is down, and criminals know it.”

There are no Republicans on the ballot:

Fellow businessman Frank Scurlock, who announced at about the same time as the “Big 3,” also could get a little traction using his own financial resources from his inflatable bounce house empire and his public opposition to the removal of the Confederate monuments to carve out a niche.

Scurlock is one of six white candidates in the field to lead a city with a population that is about 60 percent black. Eleven of the candidates signed up as Democrats, three are running as independents, and four others are running without a party affiliation. There are no Republicans on the mayoral ballot.

As of today, there have been 100 murders in New Orleans this year and countless shootings, muggings, assaults, and other violent crimes.

The primary is October 14 with a November runoff; Landrieu will remain in office through May. According to pundit Stephanie Grace:

[Landrieu] hinted that he hopes to help guide the choice of his successor, perhaps through the political action committee he has set up. While he hasn’t endorsed a candidate, Landrieu has bemoaned New Orleans voters’ history of focusing on change and has advocated for philosophical and policy continuity from his administration to the next.

This race will be closely watched throughout the state as many who have objected to Landrieu’s Confederate monument position have vowed not to visit the city until he is gone.

If a Landrieu clone is elected that tourism ban may continue.

Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport.