City prepares for Election Day - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

City prepares for Election Day

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NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - At a warehouse in New Orleans East, workers were rolling the final voting machines onto delivery trucks for a trip to polling places Friday afternoon.

On Saturday, New Orleans voters will decide key city leadership races. Among them, the contest for mayor, city council and criminal sheriff.

Mayor Mitch Landrieu faces two challengers, former Civil Court Judge Michael Bagneris and longtime civil rights activist and local NAACP President Danatus King.

Sheriff Marlin Gusman is challenged by his predecessor, former Sheriff Charles Foti and School Board Member and former New Orleans police officer Ira Thomas.

Foti and Gusman have been duking it out in biting TV and radio ads.

"We're having charges and counter-charges," said UNO Political Scientist Ed Chervenak.

He said the sheriff's race was never expected to be a sleeper.

"It's no surprise that they are pointing fingers at each other," Chervenak said. "Charles Foti and Marlin Gusman have basically headed up the jail over the last several decades, and so they can basically point fingers at each other over the conditions in the jail."

The jail has been dominated a lot of headlines over the past year or so. A video surfaced showing inmates taking illegal drugs and engaging in other illegal activities. The prison is now under a federal consent decree that mandates reforms.

All of the city council seats are up for election, and for the first time voters will choose the council's two at-large members in different races instead of having all of the candidates lumped together.

Councilwoman-at-Large Stacy Head is seeking re-election as part of the new Division 1 council-at-large race. She is challenged by businessman and former Morial administration economic development chief Eugene Green.

In the Division 2 council-at-large race, incumbent District D Councilwoman Cynthia Hedge Morrell is running, along with veteran attorneys Freddie Charbonnet and Jason Williams.

Chervenak does not believe voters will be confused by the new process for choosing at-large members.

"I don't think they will," he said. "I think they were actually more confused about the old system, where you had to provide two votes in that election. So I think this will be more clarity this time around."

 

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