District E Candidates have an open conversation in New Orleans East

Early voting for the Nov. 18 runoff starts Friday.

NEW ORLEANS -- In a place you'd normally get a haircut, the barber chairs at Case Closed Barbershop were filled with Mayoral and District E candidates, having a candid conversation about their concerns. 
 
"It was meant to be real talk, real conversations, real questions, real concerns, and you know, just kind of hear from the politicians and not the political answers," Daryl Womack said. 
 
Daryl Womack is a barber and entrepreneur. He called the forum, "Politicking with the Politicians." 
 
District E Candidates James Gray and Cyndi Nguyen sat down with a handful of people. Mayoral Candidate Desiree Charbonnet also spoke and listened to the small crowd. 
 
Gail Womack-Murray is a New Orleans East resident. She not only wants more businesses in the East, but wants her next representative to be accessible. 
 
"I would like to be able to pick up the phone after giving so much to say...I just need to talk to you, for about five or 10 minutes," Womack-Murray said. 
 
"I've been around in the community. I live in the community. I'm raising a family in the community," Challenger Cyndi Nguyen said.
 
Nguyen says bringing jobs and changing the negative perception of the East is something she's striving for. 
 
"We're going to be working on bringing in developments to make sure that we create jobs and curb crime. We're going to work to re-brand the East," Nguyen said. 
 
Incumbent James Gray says since taking office four years ago, the East has come a long way. Gray says for those who are skeptical about it's development, they need to look around again.
 
The incumbent says with Wal-Mart being built in 2014, plus Franklin Avenue Baptist Church relocating to the area, things are happening, but it will take time. 
 
"That $40 million church that's being built out here, first of all we had to convince them that this was a sensible place to invest their money," Gray said. "A lot has been done in the last four years. And we're going to get even more done in the next four years, because things build on each other." 
 
Early voting begins Friday. All Louisianians eligible to vote can begin early voting Friday, November 3rd and continue through Saturday November 11 th from 8:30 a.m. to 6p.m. daily, excluding Saturday, Nov. 5 and Veterans Day, Friday, Nov. 10. Residents who want to vote early may do so in person at their parish Registrar of Voters Office or at other designated locations. For  a list of voting locations, click here
 
https://voterportal.sos.la.gov/EarlyVoting

© 2017 WWL-TV


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