NEW ORLEANS - Look for a few less laughs on the mayoral campaign trail, with the announcement Thursday by comedian Manny “Chevrolet” Bruno that he is dropping out of the race.
Bruno, who also ran for mayor in 2010, 2006 and 2002, cited “powers that be” for his decision to drop out of the Feb. 1 primary. His decision leaves three candidates: incumbent mayor Mitch Landrieu, former Judge Michael Bagneris and NAACP president Danatus King.
In a statement full of the dry wit he brought to campaign forums during his last two runs for the office, Bruno joked that his decision “sent shock waves through the New Orleans political world.”
His statement took on a serious tone when he said his eligibility to run had been questioned “on trivial grounds that have never been brought up in my three previous campaigns for mayor. The circumstances of the challenge are surprising and not a little suspicious,” he said, though not elaborating.
Bruno, whose previous campaign slogans have included “A troubled man for troubled times” and “Still troubled,” also highlighted some of the reasons he said he was serious about hoping for improvements in the city from the next mayor.
“When I first started running in 2002, I cited the three biggest problems in New Orleans: crime, blight and favoritism in City Hall. I’ve never had to change that list, because no matter who’s (sic) in the mayor’s office, those problems persist. And the biggest shame is we've come to accept it.”
Bruno cited the “uneven recovery of neighborhoods” and “war on music” as examples of what he called the city’s misguided priorities.
Bruno closed by saying, “If I were a typical politician, this is the point where I’d say something about wanting to spend more time with my family. But who’d believe that? I mean, have you met my family?”