Governor Edwards says he's not likely to endorse in upcoming NOLA mayor's race

Governor Edwards says he's not likely to endorse in upcoming NOLA mayor's race

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Crime is a front burner issue, with qualifying for the New Orleans mayor's race just three weeks away.

So far, just three candidates have announced they will run, and  the governor says he is not likely to back any candidate.

Governor John Bel Edwards went to Pilgrim Baptist Church Sunday to honor church leaders, and talk about the state's financial future.

"The folks in Baton Rouge will have to summon the courage to do the things that are hard," said Edwards.

But when it comes to an endorsement in the race for New Orleans mayor the governor says he will likely not pick a candidate.

"I will not. My hands are full," said Edwards.

So far, the race, has just three announced candidates.  They are councilwoman Latoya Cantrell, and former judges Michael Bagneris and Desiree Charbonnet.

"It's a tough job, and we're not seeing many folks step up to the plate," said FOX 8 Political Analyst Mike Sherman.

That's a far cry from the 11 candidates faced by Ray Nagin in his 2002 race for mayor, and the nine who challenged Mitch Landrieu in 2012.

But other possible candidates like representative Walt Leger, businessman Sidney Torres, or state senator Troy Carter, among others, could be late entries.

"The shorter the time period the less costly, you will need $2-3 million. Some will be up to $4 million," said Sherman, talking about campaign costs.

Sherman says voters have one thing on their mind, and the candidate with the best game plan has a strong shot.

"It's true,the number 1,2 and 3 issues are crime, crime and  crime," says Sherman

With qualifying opening in just three weeks, Sherman says the governor's endorsement might have been a game changer.

"Every candidate needs a spark to become a frontrunner, an endorsement from a governor could create a spark this year.  It's been a sleepy race up until now," said Sherman

The governor says he will work with whoever wins.

"I've had a good relationship with the mayor and we will continue that with whoever is elected," said Edwards.

The three-day qualifying period in the mayor's race runs from July 12th to the 14th. The primary election will be held in less than four months, on October 14th.

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