Wednesday, April 19, 2006

NOLA mayor's race

Lots of talk about the Mayoral election this Saturday. Everyone thinks it's cool that that debate was nationally televised. I don't know how many people watched it though. It was MSNBC after all. I doubt 24 had much to worry about in the ratings.

Here's the cliff notes version of the race that I've learned from talking to folks around town.

There are really only four major players. Nagin, Landrieu, Forman and Couhig. Couhig is a Republican though and NOLA is solidly Democratic.

Nagin, the incumbent, basically had everyone's vote last time. He was a businessman who appealed to both white and black. The city has about something around a 70/30 - black/white ratio. Nagin managed to offend almost all of the white people with his "chocolate city" speech. Basically he told a majority black group that he intended to keep NOLA a "chocolate city" and that he didn't care what the white people Uptown thought about it. Most of the people in my office are white people who live Uptown and they're really upset. The funny thing is that most of them voted for Nagin last time.

Landrieu, the current Lt. Governor is a career politician from a political family. His dad was mayor of NOLA and his sister is a Senator for Louisiana. He seems to appeal to both white and black people which is critical. His dad ended segregation in NOLA so his family has a lot of support in the black community. Most people I talk to will vote for him and think he'll win.

I know one thing, he has a lot of money. His commercials are on 24/7.

Forman is a businessman responsible for the Audobon Zoo and a bunch of other big projects. He used to be a Republican but changed to be a Democrat when he started working with Nagin's administration. He's been friends with Landrieu for a long time. Forman encouraged him to run for mayor instead of governor. When Landrieu did decide to run for mayor Forman stayed in the race anyway and now he's running attack ads against his buddy. I don't know who's voting for Forman. Maybe conservative Democrats who refuse to vote for Nagin. He's kind of like this election's Ralph Nader. He's ruining it for Landrieu.

As far as Couhig he's the Republican's choice. That means he'll lose.

It think it comes down to Nagin and Landrieu. Probably depends on how many displaced voters send in votes. Should be a tight race. I say Landrieu by a hair.


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