New Orleans Jubilant crowds are flocking to New Orleans this weekend for Carnival parades and to celebrate the Saints’ first-ever Super Bowl appearance. Oh, and then there’s the little matter of picking someone to lead the city once Mayor Ray Nagin, the political face of Katrina-battered New Orleans, steps down.
Amid the festivity, voters face a serious task today: Electing a new mayor to deal with the city’s uneven recovery from the destruction wrought by Hurricane Katrina and lingering troubles such as violent crime.
And it could be the first time in three decades that the predominantly African-American city elects a white mayor, as black political power seems to have waned. The last white mayor, Moon Landrieu, left the post in 1979.
Now his son, Louisiana Lt. Gov. Mitch Landrieu, 49, is making his third run for mayor and is widely seen as the leader of an 11-candidate pack hoping to succeed the term-limited Nagin.