A week after grabbing attention with the largest remaining fundraising war chest, Dana Kaplan bolstered her campaign for the open District B seat on the New Orleans City Council by announcing endorsements Wednesday from Mayor Mitch Landrieu, U.S. Rep. Cedric Richmond and five other prominent elected officials.Kaplan picked up Mitch, Cedric, Erroll Williams, Marlin Gusman, Helena Moreno, Jared Brossett, and Walt Leger. That's quite a cross-section of heavy hitters singing the praises of someone who sells herself as a grass-rootsy newcomer.
I'm not sure what to make of that. The next year is going to be a rough time in local politics. Gusman is going to be dealing with federal consent decree oversight of his shoddily run prison. Mitch is getting ready to gut civil service and I'm guessing privatize some city services shortly thereafter. There will probably be another attempt at a "Ho-Zone" style giveaway to hospitality ownership. Water rates will be raised and raised again. The rent will continue to be too damn high.
The hope was that Kaplan wouldn't be on board with the big boys with regard to at least some of this stuff. Or at the very least that she'd be less likely to buy into the bullshit than Cantrell or Strachan would. Now, who knows?
This is going to be an interesting race. I don't know if there's any polling data but if I had to guess I'd say Cantrell runs first with Kaplan making it a runoff. But that's just me throwing blind darts right now.
Update: I find this hard to believe but could this shift from Cantrell to Kaplan have really been all about the blunt? If so, our politics may be even dumber than we like to think they are.
But, at the same time, if that's really the explanation for these endorsements, think about what a significant distortion that minor event would have created in this race.
Upperdate: Speaking of polling data, Gambit is running one of those totally super-scientific online polls for the District B race right now. When I looked at those results, Eric Strachan had over 50%. But we already knew the online Gambit audience was a virtual "Faubourg Stacy" anyway.
Uppestdate: I could be way off base in assuming Cantrell to run first. At the beginning of this race I thought she would have been the overwhelming favorite but circumstances have changed as the race went on and I might need to adjust expectations a bit. It would be nice to see some polling data but that's asking for a lot in a council district race. Anyway, I still think this is headed for a run-off as long as the three major contenders stay in the race.