Nagin, Landrieu Runoff Likely in NOLA Election

Charlie Burr

New Orleans isn’t like any other place in America, and the New Orleans Mayoral contest is unlike any other election.

But it's an important election – not just for the city itself, but us as a country. New Orleans is a national treasure, and the outcome will shape what kind of city is rebuilt in Katrina’s wake.

An hour ago, The Times-Picayune predicted a runoff between incumbent Ray Nagin and Lt. Governor Mitch Landrieu.

The results with 49% of precincts reporting:
Ray Nagin: 36%
Mitch Landrieu: 29%

I had the opportunity to work with both Nagin and Landrieu's staff during the 2002 U.S. Senate runoff between Mary Landrieu and Republican Suzie Haik-Terrell. Both Nagin and Landrieu are good and honorable public servants. I’m supporting Mitch, but either will have immense and complex challenges ahead.

Our federal government's response to this unprecedented natural disaster is a national disgrace. That was true when the levees were breached and continues to be so today. It’s also an appropriate election to have on Earth Day -- global warming may not have caused the storm, but warmer water in the Loop Current increases hurricane intensity and the rapid loss of Louisiana coastal wetlands strips New Orleans and the Gulf coast of a vital buffer for incoming storms.

In many ways, this was a man-made disaster.

New Orleans will come back, but it will take leadership at all levels of government to rebuild and renew this great American city.

Discuss.

[You can help here too, btw.]

Update: with 443 of 443 precincts reporting, the results:
Ray Nagin 41,489 38%
Mitch Landrieu 31,499 29%
Ron Forman 18,734 17%

Update: The Times-Picayune has election coverage here.

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