Word - Meet the (potential) mayor

New Orleans mayoral candidates

Seven of 23 candidates for New Orleans mayor pushed their platforms to evacuees in Atlanta on March 18. Sponsored by the Coastal Gumbo Coalition, the candidates — including incumbent Mayor Ray Nagin and Louisiana Lt. Gov. Mitch Landrieu — addressed issues of education, rebuilding the levees and race relations. Many of the candidates traveled across the nation to reach displaced voters. Elections will be held April 22.

“Our culture and our tourism is the best punch that the city has in terms of generating revenue. ... Let’s have the tourists foot the bill ... then we’ll have no problem with the parties.”

-- Mayoral candidate Shedrick White, in response to why Mardi Gras and the annual Jazz Festival have continued in light of Katrina’s aftermath

“Our welcome has been worn out. We’ve burdened some cities. ... There’s almost a conspiracy to keep some services unavailable to our people.”

-- Mayoral candidate Tom Watson, on the inability for many displaced residents to move back to New Orleans

“The storm put a magnifying glass on us and it made us see ourselves clearly. What was OK before Katrina is not OK after Katrina.”

-- Landrieu, on the city’s loss of credibility

“Do we have the luxury of allowing somebody to come into office with cute ideas and nice thoughts and be immediately thrust into the next hurricane season?”

-- Mayor Nagin, in regards to why he should remain in office