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Posted: Wednesday, 11 December 2013 6:16AM

Landrieu for Mayor and Governor?



Today, we will start learning who's going to try and earn the top jobs in the city of New Orleans, from the mayor's office and the city council to Orleans Parish Sheriff and more.  Qualifying starts today.

The incumbent mayor appears to be on an easy road to reelection.

"There still is no one with the kind of citywide name recognition of campaign warchest that could give Mitch Landrieu a serious challenge," political analyst Clancy DuBos told WWL First News.

DuBos says, though, you never know what's going to happen. He notes that the mayor enjoys high approval ratings, so even a well-financed challenger would have to scramble to cover serious ground.

Listen to Clancy DuBos break down the New Orleans municipal elections:


Could Landrieu also be preparing to run for Louisiana Governor just a short way down the road?

Political analyst and LAPolitics.com publisher John Maginnis says the 2015 Governor's race will be "wide open."  He says Landrieu could run and continue to be Mayor if he happened to lose. 

Maginnis says Landrieu can wait until after the 2014 U.S. Senate race, to see how voters treat his sister, Mary Landrieu in her reelection bid, but he feels that makes little difference.

"It really is two different elections. The issues are so much different... I think Mitch Landrieu is going to make his choice independent of what happens to Mary Landrieu."

Right now, Amite state Rep. John Bel Edwards is the only Democrat who's declared candidacy for governor on 2015. Maginnis feels Landrieu is a shoo-in for another term as New Orleans Mayor, but would also be a stronger Democrat to run for the state's top office.

DuBos is also keeping an eye on the Orleans Parish Sheriff's race.

"Marlin Gusman has given everybody lots of reasons to run against him," DuBos suggested.  "All we're hearing so far is Charlie Foti and Ira Thomas."

Foti is a former Orleans Parish Sheriff and Louisiana Attorney General.

DuBos says Foti has baggage, and one could make the argument a lot of the problems Sheriff Gusman faces were inherited from Foti.

He says Thomas has hardly any campaign cash at all.

The New Orleans City council will see some turnover, but it's hard to say how much.  Some term-limited members are simply running for other seats.

Cynthia Hedge Morrell cannot seek another term representing District D. She is running for an at-large position, which happens regularly when a district member faces term limits.

A little more unusual is Jackie Clarkson, who is term-limited out of her at-large position.  She announced Monday that she's running for District C, the seat she used to occupy.

Clarkson said she was ready to retire from public life, but Mayor Landrieu convinced her to run.

The way New Orleans voters pick their council at-large members is changing.  Previously, all candidates would compete to be one of the top-two vote-getters, with twenty-five percent plus one being enough to win in the primary.

"We used to have what was called a 'jungle primary,' or I called it a free-for-all," DuBos explained.  "We changed that because, frankly, it required too much math."

Voters would vote for two candidates, and sometimes candidates would ask their supporters to forgo their other choice and just vote for them, in an effort to work the percentages in their favor, a strategy known as "single-shooting."  Now at-large candidates declare which seat they want to hold.

"Now we do like most other parishes and most other cities, when you have multiple at-large, you declare which one you're going to run for," DuBos said.

"Stacy Head is not term-limited.  She can seek one more term (for council at-large), and she is going run," DuBos said.  "She has a challenger in Eugene Green."

"Cynthia Hedge Morrell and Jason Williams are both running" for the seat that Clarkson will vacate, DuBos said, "and there may be others in that race as well."

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