Monday, June 01, 2009

The Punchline: Race to City Ha!

It has been many, many moons since WCBF last examined the upcoming race for Mayor.

Though there is no public campaign under way, there are a few candidates known to be running and several more that are known to be actively considering the possibility. Others might still yet drop in at the last minute.

The only thing that's certain is that the whole thing is going to be giant circus.

I'm going to try to rank potential candidates from least likely to most likely. I've maintained a very lengthy list of candidates in previous check-ins but I'm going to really try to pare this down as much as possible.

13. Honorable Mention: Bill Jefferson, Helena Moreno, Virginia Boulet, Jimmy Fahrenholtz, Eddie Sapir, Jackie Clarkson, Irvin Mayfield, Cynthia Hedge-Morrell, Stacy Head, Edwin Lombard, Michael Bagneris, Arnie Fielkow, Paul Valteau, Michael Cowen, regularly assorted Manny Chevrolets (not excluding myself.)

Just names I've seen mentioned before but who either have denied interest, are devoid of name recognition, or otherwise have no compelling reason to run.

12. Rob Couhig - Sure.

11. Jay Lapeyre - Does the Chairman of the New Orleans Business Council want to be Mayor? Think he'll want to explain to voters what the super-secret NOBC is and does? Will he tell us who else is on it? Will he admit that they secretly control everything anyway and he really doesn't need to be Mayor to have power? Weird...

10. James Perry - Not sure how things are really going with this campaign. Any local article alluding to the Mayoral race leaves him out. That's not a good sign when other names mentioned as confirmed candidates - Austn Badon and Edwin Murray - aren't exactly kings of charisma. Word is the Perry campaign has hired a more experienced campaign hand to help get the message out.

9. Cheryl Gray Evans, Cedric Richmond, Troy Carter, Kenya Smith, etc. - I don't expect any of these folks to seriously run for Mayor. Evans and Richmond are likely considering challenging Joseph Cao for Congress. The reason that these names are lumped together on this list is that the timing of the 2010 Mayoral election and 2010 Congressional election are such that potential Congressional candidates may try to run something like a practice campaign in the Mayoral. It's a great way to raise money and improve name recognition. Candidates that don't make the Mayoral cut can quickly turn around and transfer their election funds. This option would seem especially intriguing for someone like Cheryl Gray Evans, who is reasonably popular in her Senate district but not well known enough citywide to really raise the money she'd need to win a Mayoral election. But a solid effort would really raise her profile and leave her plenty of time to regroup to take down Cao.

8. Edwin Murray - It will be interesting to see whether Murray's sponsorship of SB 75, which would put the Master Plan to a popular vote, reflects a groundswell of concern that the CPC and Council can't be trusted to vote on a plan in accordance with the charter change approved by voters from last November OR if it instead foreshadows a series of campaign donations from development interests. I don't mean that sentence to be as cynical as it probably reads - I'm told Murray is a reasonable guy - I just don't see how he raises any kind of money in this field.

7. Glapion/Gusman - I group these two together because neither has given any indication they're running. Roy Glapion Jr. has expressed some interest and remains viable because of the fundraising potential through his powerful family network but I have not seen any indication he's moved forward in even the most cursory way. I haven't heard a peep recently about Sheriff Marlin Gusman either, though it would appear to me that he could be a formidable candidate just based on the fact that he's decently popular and holds citywide office.

6. Warren Riley - It was in the papers that he's met with - or rather, sent someone to meet with - a big fundraiser/manager type. I'm still speechless about this. That he's this high on the list is a testament to the city's leadership vacuum.

5. Austin Badon - He's got Nagin's old campaign team and spends his time in the legislature doing favors for conservatives like promoting vouchers and resolving Congress to vote against EFCA. These things make me not like him. At all.

4. John Georges: With Arnie Fielkow supposedly out of the picture, John Georges has paved the way for the most expensive 3rd place finish in the history of municipal politics in the United States. He's got a phony website and is in the process of staffing up.

3. Karen Carter Peterson - I haven't heard that she's interested but she'd be a top contender if she decided to run. She seems to be the only person left with any semblance of a traditional turnout machine and has a large enough network that she'd be able to raise sums that others won't be able to touch. (Arnie Fielkow would be somewhere around here if he changed his mind and decided to run for Mayor.)

2. Mitch Landrieu - I kind of thought that Tulane/James Carville poll was just chumming the water for Mitch. He's the front-runner if he decides to run though I've heard he may be vying for a federal appointment instead. Either way, who the hell else would you rank as most likely?

1. VOID - Does anyone really even want this job? There is a tremendous vacuum here, particularly when one considers the lack of active and viable African American candidates in an election where African American voters will be the clear majority. This is going to be an absolute circus, what with the e-maelstrom unfolding concurrently on top of everything else. Circus might not be a strong enough term. It's going to be a clusterf*ck for the ages.

A little rushed and certainly fallible. What do you think? There is less than a year to go and it's just as confusing as it was back in December and January.


jeffrey said...

"Absolute circus"? "clusterfuck for the ages"? Hey count me in, when do we start?

Seriously though, I LOVE this feature. Don't stop doing these... even after the election I may be up for another one just for laughs.

Anyway, I'm thinking Badon is the front-runner followed by Murray and then possibly Landrieu (but I don't think he's running). What makes it FUN is Riley who could actually make this as ridiculous as it deserves to be PLUS I think Richmond should be considered strongly until we're sure he's not running. If he does run, I'd put him in the runoff with Badon.

But we're still very far out and lots of funny things can and will happen.

NotMaginnis said...

Jeffrey, I can not say this strongly enough, Cedric Richmond is absolutely not running for mayor, and is absolutely in to run for 2nd district.

As it stands right now, Gusman is definitely running for reelection, and one of his top operatives is working for Georges.

Civitch said...

The public notice for SB 75, Murray's "let's kill the master plan" bill, was paid for by HRI, aka Pres Kabacoff. So I think you're right on point in thinking that he's playing to developers. One more reason NOT to vote for him.

E said...

I think if the election were held today, there would be a runoff between Badon and Georges. But that doesn't tell me a whole lot about what the dynamics will be in another 6 months. Badon and Georges have the most advanced campaigns at this time.

Damian said...

"clusterf*ck for the ages"

E, if you ever start a special website for the mayoral race, may I suggest

But a very good post today.

mominem said...

What will Arnie do?

1) Run for Senate?
2) Run for Reelection?
3) Run for Mayor?
4) None of the Above.

I think CHM will run for council at large. She and Arnie could be a pretty good team I think.

Alan said...

can civitch get a link to that public notice, or whatever documentation reveals that?

Anonymous said...

So ... will Landrieu run an ad emphasizing certain New Orleans foods at certain demographics. Was that the reason for the Tulane/Democracy Corps seemingly daffy and extraneous food question? (OTOH, maybe it was a gambit to keep respondents interested over the course of 87 other questions.)
-- Ray M

E said...

The public notice thing was a paper ad so it won't appear online. Someone had to have paid for it... Not sure if the evidence will be linkable.

Puddinhead said...

"I think CHM will run for council at large. She and Arnie could be a pretty good team I think."

Once again we agree.

Oh, and as for those evil developers...round them all up, stone them, and then distribute their money evenly in ones and fives. That'll teach those scum who think we allow profit on investment here in NOLA.

Anonymous said...

you are right, austin badon is a tool. he and georges are both bad scenarios for nola.

NOLA Progressive said...

I love this post. Gotta love the acerbic wit paired with the grim reality of it all. Kudos.

E said...

And I love that blogger handle! You, my friend, have been added to my reader.