The 2002 City of New Orleans Mayoral Race: A Historical Review
Just a review to remember how we got where we are today with Ray Nagin as the Mayor of New Orleans. In review of this data, I don't recall Nagin beating Pennington in the runoff by nearly 20% . . . The race was a much closer one in my memory. I did remember, however, that Troy Carter did surprisingly bad in the primary only getting 10% of the vote.
In my opinion, minus the MLK Day speech I think Nagin maybe not necessarily have had a cakewalk in the upcoming election, but certainly I think easily had the upper hand towards winning it. The MLK speech opened the door for viable competition to step up and vie for the mayorship whom I think likely would have passed otherwise (i.e. Mitch Landrieu). I voted for Nagin both times in 2002, but he lost me--and I wasn't even critical of his handling of the immediate post-KTMB days. Nagin may very well be able to win again, but would it have been much easier for him without the MLK Day "chocolate city" controversy (to which I believe and admit was taken out of context thanks to the eight second television-friendly sound byte treatment of that speech)? Or will the "chocolate city" affair actually ensure Nagin wins by galvanizing the black vote (whom he didn't really win over in the 2002 election) and disregarding the white vote (that will be split primarily by Landrieu, Forman, and Couhig) that secured the election for him in 2002?????
CITY OF NEW ORLEANS MAYOR PRIMARY ELECTION, 2 FEBRUARY 2002:
(the day before New Orleans-hosted Super Bowl XXXVI)
C. Ray Nagin, D 38,323 (29%)
Richard Pennington, D 31,259 (23%)
Paulette Irons, D 24,557 (18%)
James "Jim" Singleton, D 17,503 (13%)
Troy Carter, D 13,898 (10%)
Vernon Palmer, D 3,442 (3%)
8 Other Candidates Combined* 2,517 (2%)
Leonard Lucas, D 2,102 (2%)
*-Emile Labat (637), Quentin Brown (422), Thomas Dunn, Jr. (334), Timothy Hill (309), Clarence Hunt (289), "Manny Chevrolet" Bruno (274), Ed Cerrone (136), and Albert "Superman" Jones (116).
CITY OF NEW ORLEANS MAYOR RUNOFF ELECTION, 2 MARCH 2002:
C. Ray Nagin, D 76,639 (59%)
Richard Pennington, D 53,836 (41%)