On Friday, Christopher Tidmore and I discussed the New Orleans Mayor’s race in some details in a Facebook-Twitter Live video discussion. Tidmore has been the political editor for the Louisiana Weekly, a prominent African American newspaper in New Orleans. He also is a radio talk show host on Sunday morning on WRNO.
Tidmore had provided interesting and detailed analysis to Bayoubuzz via the same medium prior to the general election earlier this month and I requested an update to discuss the results and recent developments.
Obviously, the most controversial development has been the credit card controversy now plaguing LaToya Centrell, who, as of election night, led Charbonnet by nine points. According to news reports, Cantrell had charged expenses to her city credit card and belatedly reimbursed that account.
In the first part of the Tidmore interview, he explained how Bagneris and Henry split up a large swath of the conservative and white vote, how Henry hurt Bagneris’s mayoral chances and some of the political machinations of New Orleans.
Below is the text to part one of our Friday live video discussion
The text transcript is accurate but obviously, the most accurate version is the video original, also below.
Right now, which is I think really kind of crazy and exciting, so wonderfully crazy wonderfully crazy.
It's going really well and I've got to tell you it's not going very well for Latoya Cantrell but part of this should have been expected because what's happening right now is Desiree Charbonnet pretty much realizes Cantrell's forty-percent, thirty-nine point something percent this-- should have been hard-floor. So she and her campaign surrogates are desperate to do two things: One, make sure that the Republican vote that went to Charbonnet in the primary continues to go to her and any Republican vote that went particularly to Michael Bagneris or white vote goes to her.
And, secondly that the vote that Troy Henry earned in the primary goes to Charbonnet over Cantrell--and these are not light things. I wrote about this in the Louisiana weekly this past week--you can get it Louisianaweekly.net or for those watching on my Facebook page right below this--where I talked about that Michael Bagneris had lost this race--the reason he didn't make the runoff could be attributed to two men-- Jay Batt and Troy Henry-- The chairman of the, of the Orleans Parish Republican Party and his fellow candidate and friend Troy Henry. And the reason was that both of those constituencies were key players. The Republican constituency and the upper-middle class professional African-American constituency that Henry appeals to. They were key players for Michael Bagneris four years ago when he got a third of the vote. And that essentially, the one-two punch first that the Orleans Parish Republican Party decided not only to endorse Desiree Charbonnet and I explained the methodology as to why in the article it's very detailed, but basically, boils down to they didn't think that Bagneris could get into the runoff.
That their not only endorsement but their active pushing of Charbonnet did not deny Bagnaris all the Republican vote or even most of it, but a sizable enough percentage--that Charbonnet actually overperformed with GOP voters. Then I thought and many people thought she would win in the primary. But the second part of that is--Troy Henry and this is something Michael Bagneris himself told me--that he had wooed and begged Troy Henry not to run because they went out for the same vote. They quite literally cannibalized that same vote the professional middle-class African-American vote.
And, what’s going on right now is--after the election, it seemed like a pretty easy momentum would go of those two constituencies to Latoya Cantrell. That the people who had the Republicans and Caucasians which is most of Michael Bagneris vote--27% of non-black voters in the city of New Orleans voted for Michael Bagneris. It looked like that vote was going straight to Latoya Cantrell and it looked like Troy Henry's vote would. And then a few things happen the first thing was the Ministerial Alliance a group of 100 African American ministers endorses Desiree Charbonnet--very good thing for Charbonnet, very critical--black ministers still hold a good amount of sway in the areas. The second thing though that was going on--was the, was that Charbonnet needed some way to--if not relieve the stigma that she has-- her brother Bunny and Ike Spears and others--old line of African American pols--some would say "crooked pols"--I'm not saying that--I'm just saying that's the perception out there--that she had to, that she had to make sure Cantrell didn't seem like the newcomer, the open person. And this entire credit card controversy, well, not the worst scandal I have ever seen by any stretch of the imagination, it's even questionable as to how much of a scandal it really is, it was enough to take the gleam off of Cantrell--or at least make her hit, be hit back on her heels for a little while.