Sunday, May 07, 2006

NY Times take on the NO mayoral election

Conservative White Voters Hold Sway in New Orleans - New York Times:
"The city's changed demographics made themselves felt all week as a tight race for mayor headed toward the May 20 runoff.

Black officials have run City Hall for decades, but with the population dispersal caused by Hurricane Katrina, white voters — especially conservatives — hold the keys to the drab 1950's building downtown. Both the incumbent, Mayor C. Ray Nagin, and his challenger, Lt. Gov. Mitch Landrieu, need this group, and both are now flirting with it, flaunting endorsements from conservative white also-rans in the April 22 primary.

But the electoral dance has to be delicate in a city with long memories and short fuses. Hurricane season is bearing down, last year's catastrophe is ever present, and decades' worth of decline has not gone away. The challenges: do not scare a traumatized electorate, but do not lull it either; and distance yourself from prior black mayors — deemed corrupt by whites — but not too much."

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