Landrieu, King turn in finance reports for 2014 mayoral run - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

Landrieu, King turn in finance reports for 2014 mayoral run

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NEW ORLEANS - The 2014 New Orleans mayoral race is under way, but mostly away from the public eye.

"You see what's happening in the background in terms of mobilization, in terms of research, in terms of maybe trying to put a team together," said political analyst Silas Lee.

Qualifying is scheduled for next month, but on Monday, two candidates submitted campaign finance reports revealing a huge disparity in cash.

The incumbent, Mitch Landrieu, reports that his cash-on-hand totals more than $1.6 million.

The only other known candidate, Danatus King, who heads the New Orleans chapter of the  NAACP, reports a war chest of only $505.

"I'm not surprised at the fact that Mayor Landrieu does have that amount of money on hand, and it's going to be a challenge for Danatus King to raise a lot of money unless he gets a lot of people to sign promissory notes or he self-finances in some way," Lee said.

The campaign cash battle is critical, according to UNO Political Scientist Ed Chervenak.

"What you want to do is send a message to your opponents that you have a big war chest and so, the name of the game is to raise money to scare off challengers," he said.

Chervenak also points out that history is on the side of the incumbent in New Orleans mayoral elections.

Still, analysts we talked with say anything can happen, but they also said anyone who wants to make some noise in the race should already be making moves.

"You better be building your organization right now," Chervenak said. "You're going to have to get your volunteers. You're going to have to get your fundraisers, get your consultants, get your pollsters, get your media people, get your lawyers. You have to get all those people lined up if you're going to run for office."

"The electorate will not remember the person who lost. They only remember the individual who won the seat," Lee said.

Qualifying begins Dec. 11.

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