Candidates in major local elections meet for first public forum

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wwltv.com

Posted on January 7, 2014 at 11:22 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jan 7 at 11:41 PM

Tania Dall / Eyewitness News
Email: tdall@wwltv.com | Twitter: @taniadall

NEW ORLEANS -- New Orleans candidates vying for the mayor, sheriff, coroner and City Council municipal races faced off in their first public forum on Tuesday night.

It was held Uptown and hosted by the Independent Women's Organization of Greater New Orleans. Candidates talked about issues like combating crime, economic development and creating more opportunities for youth during tonight's forum.

The forum's moderator asked incumbent Mayor Mitch Landrieu to discuss how the NOPD consent decree will be paid for.

"We were able through reorganizing government, cutting smartly to fund both consent decrees. The police department consent decree costs $55 million and is fully funded," Landrieu said to a packed room.

Mayoral candidate and former NAACP President Denatus King said he'd help boost economic recovery in parts of the city still struggling from the storm by creating tax break zones.

"That's offering tax credits to people that employ residents from a particular area and to businesses that locate in a particular area," said King.

Judge Michael Bagneris who resigned from the bench at Civil District Court to run for Mayor was asked how he would transition to governing that involves negotiating with other lawmakers.

"In a word: communication. You have to talk with people, not at them or down to them. You talk with people you communicate," said Judge Bagneris.

Another closely watched race is for Orleans Parish sheriff.

"I would suspect that the sheriff's race is the most contentious," said UNO Political Science Professor Edward Chervenek. "The two individuals who have been responsible for the jail over the last several decades will be running for the job to reform the jail, and so you're going to see lots of attacks in that campaign."

Throughout this month civic groups will host forums where you can hear directly from municipal race candidates before Election Day on Feb. 1.

Here is a list of locations from our coverage partner UptownMessenger.com:

Wednesday (Jan. 8): The League of Women Voters and Urban League will be hosting a forum for City Council candidates in each of the contested Districts A, C, D and E at 6 p.m. in Georges Auditorium at Dillard University. The forum is open to the public.

Thursday (Jan. 9): The Alliance for Good Government will hold the first of its endorsement forums at Loyola University, starting with City Council District E at 6:30 p.m., then the District C candidates, then the mayoral candidates. The exact location is yet to be announced.

Tuesday (Jan. 14): The Alliance for Good Government will meet with candidates for Clerk of Court, Sheriff, Coroner and Council District D, starting at 6:30 p.m. at Loyola University.

Wednesday, Jan. 15: The Alliance for Good Government will meet with candidates for the At-Large and District A City Council races, starting at 6:30 p.m. at Loyola University.

Thursday, Jan. 16: The League of Women Voters and Urban League will be holding a forum for mayoral candidates from 7 to 8 p.m. at Dillard University’s Georges Auditorium.

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