NEW ORLEANS - In New Orleans, a long election season is about to get underway. The judicial races are in the fall, and then the city election is this spring.
That election includes the mayor, City Council seats and the Orleans Parish sheriff. There are some well-known names circulating as possible challengers to current Sheriff Marlin Gusman, including former Orleans Parish Criminal Sheriff and Former Attorney General Charles Foti.
Gusman has said he will run for re-election next year, and the La. Board of Ethics records show he has half a million dollars already in his war chest.
“The old saying, you can't beat a somebody with a nobody holds here,” said WWL-TV Political Analyst Clancy DuBos.
He says politicos have been seeking a candidate to challenge Gusman, who some say is weak right now because of recent scandals, including the release of inmates on video uncovered during consent decree hearings.
“His office has been tainted by scandal: federal investigations and convictions. He has remained personally insulated from that,” DuBos said.
Gusman didn't respond to our calls for comment. But also in political circles, word is spreading that Foti may run.
“I'm not sure that Sheriff Foti could beat him. It would be a clash of two very wounded ducks,” DuBos said.
Orleans Parish School Board Member Ira Thomas is also considering a run, and state Rep. Austin Badon said he's "flattered" his name is in the mix.
Other possibilities: former NOPD Deputy Superintendent Marlon Defillo, who said he's focused on his business, the same thing defense attorney Jason Williams said.
What could likely play a big role in the outcome is Mayor Mitch Landrieu's involvement.
DuBos says disagreements between the mayor and Gusman over the size of the new jail and the consent decree could determine whether Landrieu endorses anyone in the race.
“In spite of their very public differences, Mitch Landrieu and Marlin Gusman are not political enemies. They're actually natural allies,” DuBos said.
It’s something politicos say could result in Landrieu simply staying out of it.
We also reached out to Charles Foti. He didn't return our email or calls seeking comment.