Could the Confederate monument removals impact the next mayoral election?

Caresse Jackman talks to mayoral candidates about what the Confederate monument debate means for those running for mayor.

NEW ORLEANS -- Many feel the debate over the Confederate monuments has impacted the political career of Mayor Mitch Landrieu, but what does it mean for those trying to replace him?

Mayoral Candidate Frank Scurlock is not shy when it comes to his thoughts about the removal of Confederate monuments across the city.

"If I was mayor, and if I felt that passionate about the removal, I would actually show up," he said.

Scurlock is an outspoken monument supporter. In fact, he was arrested at the Jefferson Davis Monument earlier in May for obstructing a public place.

"I have my personal preference, if it was up to me I want to preserve history," Scurlock said. "And not only do I want to preserve history, I would like to add to history."

By adding, Scurlock means not just having statues like Jefferson Davis, but other historic figures.

"You can have both sides of the table," Scurlock said. "You can have Martin Luther King. He should be there. Maybe General Sherman should be there."

Judge Michael Bagneris, another mayoral candidate, told Eyewitness News in a statement he's concerned about crime and not statues.

"I think it's absolutely unforgivable that our city leaders have allowed our city to become a divided city -- a racially divided city," Bagneris said in a statement. "Why have scores of police officers guarding statues of dead people when live people are getting killed? That's unforgivable."

Bagneris continued, saying residents are leaving the city because of the crime problem.

“Recently, I was speaking with a woman who said she had encouraged her child to leave, not because he could not get work, but because he could get killed," Bagneris said. "Crime is ravaging our City. Crime is up in New Orleans because police manpower is down, and, criminals know it. You can’t be nice with the bad guys. My crime plan includes immediately increasing the number of police officers.”

Eyewitness News Political Analyst Clancy DuBos believe most of the candidates will focus on tackling most of the city's issues, like crime and revitalization. While tensions about the statues are running high now, DuBos said by election day, many people could very well have moved on.

"That issue would be off the table because it would've already happened. I don't see anywhere near a majority of New Orleans voters electing a mayor just on that issue," DuBos said. 
 

© 2017 WWL-TV


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