Louisiana Politics: Mitch Landrieu considers his post-election career

With roughly six months remaining in his term, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu said in a recent interview that he hasn’t decided whether he’ll endorse a candidate in the race to replace him and that he doesn’t have any post-election plans.

“I don’t know where I’m going to go,” he said. “You never rule anything out. … I don’t have any intention at the moment, or any desire, to be planning for or seeking political office at this time. I’m a young guy. I mean, who the heck knows what’s going to happen in years to come. But I really do want to take a break for a bit.”

Landrieu did say in his interview that running for governor one day in the future was not in the cards.

“The mayor of New Orleans has to take positions that are going to be different than what the people of the state of Louisiana would take,” he said. “No right-thinking person who wants to be governor takes down Confederate monuments in Louisiana.”

The mayor, however, did offer a caveat.

“If, subsequently, history proves me right — and I think that it certainly will — then the people of Louisiana change and I decide to do that later, you know, who knows?” Landrieu added.

Here are a few other highlights from the interview Landrieu granted with The LaPolitics Report podcast:
— Reported presidential aspirations: “I don’t plan to run in 2020.”
— President Donald Trump: “He’s not really a mayor guy the way President (Barack) Obama was.”
— His legacy: “These eight years are probably going to be the most transformative eight years that the city has seen in a very, very long time.”

Tough election results
for congressmen
Congressmen Clay Higgins, R-Port Barre, and Cedric Richmond, D-New Orleans, separately got involved in some high-profile races in the primary and both of them walked away with heavy losses.

In Higgins’ case, he campaigned with and ultimately endorsed state Sen. Neil Riser, R-Columbia, for treasurer and former Rep. Lenar Whitney of Houma for the Public Service Commission.

Riser actually placed fourth in the primary in Higgins’ 3rd Congressional District, at 19 percent, behind Angele Davis’ 29 percent, former state Rep. John Schroder’s 24 percent and Derrick Edwards’ 22 percent, according to computations by JMC Analytics and Polling.

Schroder, a Republican from Covington, and Edwards, a Democratic attorney from New Orleans, advanced to the runoff in that race.

As for the part of the PSC’s 2nd District that overlaps with Higgins’ congressional district — four parishes — Whitney received 31 percent and the second spot there, to 44 percent for Dr. Craige Green, who ultimately won, and 25 percent for former Rep. Damon Baldone of Houma.

Higgins’ endorsement clearly made more of an impact in this contest, where Whitney ran in last place overall.

Richmond, on the other hand, had a much larger slate of allies in New Orleans’ varied races. His choice for mayor, former Judge Desiree Charbonnet, ran nine points behind Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell to make the runoff.

Political History: EWE dethroned
It was 30 years ago last week (Oct. 24, 1987) that three-term Gov. Edwin Edwards lost his throne in Baton Rouge to then-Congressman Buddy Roemer.

Technically, Edwards didn’t lose anything. He advanced to the runoff beside Roemer, although trailing 33 percent 27 to percent.

What Edwards did do, however, was resign from the race. That was a better option than getting tossed by voters, Edwards revealed in later interviews.

EWE made his decision known the evening of Election Day, to a crowd of “weeping family and friends,” according to The New York Times.

Here’s a snapshot of the following day, from the other side of the race, via The Shreveport Times, just three decades ago:

“Gov.-elect Buddy Roemer, obviously weary, returned to his new home Sunday for a day’s rest, reminding cheering backers that he’s not making the state’s decisions yet. The 4th District congressman said he will return to Washington next week to vote on some budget matters and then, for roughly a 10-day period, will ‘make a loop around the state to talk and to answer questions.’ As governor, Roemer must face an estimated $500 million accumulated state deficit and find out if the state can pay back $280 million Edwards borrowed last August to make ends meet through the election.”

They said it
“He’s actually omnipresent, much like the Richland Parish version of The Force.”
—Press secretary Cole Avery, explaining the different mailing, business and home addresses of Congressman Ralph Abraham, his boss, in NOLA.com

For more Louisiana political news, visit www.LaPolitics.com or follow Jeremy Alford on Twitter @LaPoliticsNow.

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