Sniping begins as qualifying opens for mayor's race

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by Katie Moore / Eyewitness News

wwltv.com

Posted on December 9, 2009 at 10:01 AM

Updated Friday, Nov 22 at 12:18 PM

NEW ORLEANS - Some of the candidates have talked about it for months, but now the real race for Mayor of New Orleans has begun with the first day of qualifying.

(See all Orleans Parish qualifications)

Wednesday, 10 candidates qualified to run for Mayor.

With Ray Nagin term-limited, it's an open seat, and now it's open season.
 
Mitch Landrieu was the latest to declare his intent to run, and by midday, he was the latest to qualify. But Landrieu emerged as the first target of the other candidates, including Rob Couhig.

“Haven’t we had enough of a mayor that's lied to us? And we're gonna come with a guy who lied the last time? Who's lied already to his best friends in politics about what he wants to do,” Couhig said after qualifying.

“This isn't Burger King where it's first come, first served. This is about who is gonna be the best mayor for the city of New Orleans,” Landrieu responded.

The first to qualify was state Senator Ed Murray.

“Signing that paper to run for mayor it gives you the responsibility that says you could be in charge of running this city to bring this recovery back and answer to all the people of the city of New Orleans,” Murray said.

Then, housing advocate James Perry signed up to run.

“When you look at all the other candidates, they're the same. They represent a Nagin third term. They don't represent any change. I'm the change candidate,” Perry said.

Business man John Georges carried a similar message.

“Politicians cannot solve our problems. It's gonna take leaders like myself to step up there. I've won New Orleans before. I'll win it again,” Georges said.

All the candidates vowed their love for New Orleans, including Judge Nadine Ramsey.

“I am very committed to this city and I am doing what the citizens of this city have been doing for a very long time. Taking charge of their lives, trying to make this city come back stronger,” Ramsey said.

“I chose to run because I think the city needs critical leadership. We're at a turning point in the city and that hasn't changed,” said education advocate Leslie Jacobs after she qualified for the race.

Others distanced themselves from a "Nagin third term," including business man Troy Henry.

“There's a difference between Ray Nagin and I. When you're talking about qualifications and skills. I've been an executive, not a mid-level manager. I actually have been an entrepreneur and owned businesses. I don't think the Mayor has been,” Henry said.

It's a wide field of candidates all waiting to see if anyone else jumps in the game by the deadline, Friday at 5 o’clock.

Two more fringe candidates put their names on the ballot Wednesday: Jerry Jacobs and Manny "Chevrolet" Bruno.
 

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