Last weekend, very few would have openly predicted that Mayor Mitch Landrieu would be facing a difficult opponent for his re-election bid. Perhaps even fewer would have thought that the New Orleans elections could spill over into the red-hot toasty U.S. Senate race, in which Landrieu’s sister is in another run-for-her-life battle for that lofty political spot.
And, “who would have thunk it” that Jackie Clarkson would be, once again, running for her old District C seat after Councilwoman, Kristen Palmer decided to bow out from elective politics, for now.
Also, in the Orleans Parish sheriff’s office, another familiar face also wants his job back. Former Sheriff and ex-Louisiana Attorney General Charlie Foti is back from the political graveyard and is taking on the current lawman and Morial-backed Sheriff, Marlin Gusman.
In the best of times, it could be difficult for a challenger, even a popular one, to defeat an incumbent. Making this scenario even more trying is the long-December holiday, the New Orleans Saints final two games and hopeful playoff schedule and even the beginning of the Mardi Gras frivolity.
The challengers must get better known, raise money and attract the attentions of a tired distracted voting audience that is more focused upon Santa, Christmas Gifts, New Years fireworks, Saints and post-season and kingcake.
The New Orleans streets, which are already full of potholes, are not the place for political challengers and the relatively unknown trying to unseat well-funded, recognizable public figures who also happen to be well-funded.
So, how did all of this excitement and madness come about? More importantly, what are the issues, the rumors and the back-stage political dramas during this highly-compressed election season?
This past weekend, WGSO Radio Talk Show host Jeff Crouere and I talked about these races, via a Google video hangout.
Here is an overview and times points of those discussions:
Political surprise, surprise, surprise 0:00
Impact of Bagneris on U.S. Senate race 1:28.6
Outside GOP influence and money coming 3:13.9
Race politics—Chocolate vs. Vanilla City 4:17
Demography favors whom? 5:20
From boring to exciting 5:51
Sheriff’s race—Foti vs. Gusman 6:16.7
Time crunch 6:48
Crouere talks Landrieu's, Clarkson, Foti:, Bagneris, Gusman, et. al. humdingers