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One of the biggest surprises of the mayor's race was the embarrassing performance of former council member Peggy Wilson (R), who finished eighth (behind the only intermittently lucid Kimberly Williamson Butler (D)) with only 772 votes. As of her campaign's last reporting, Wilson had spent $100,282.19, or $129.90 per vote. If she had just given that money to the city, maybe we'd be able to afford that tax-free city.

Although her Republican counterpart, Rob Couhig (R), surged at the end of the mayor's race with strong debate performances, he failed to overcome zookeeper Ron Forman (D-R-D) for third place. Few expected Couhig to make the runoff, but one Republican strategist groused the candidate was MIA on election day. Although his campaign did send automated telephone calls to Republican households from his wife (you know, the one who repeatedly points to him in the commercials), he had no visible presence of supporters, yard signs, and flyers on election day.

In contrast, gardener Quentin "No BS" Brown (N) proved to be an indefatigible campaigner in his bid for the open Council District B seat. Brown, renowned for his handwritten yard signs and R-rated slogan, was on the Uptown corner of St. Charles and Napoleon at the crack of dawn (with a bullhorn no less) and was one of the last to leave. With 654 votes (only 118 less than Peggy Wilson), Brown actually defeated Rev. Marshall Truehill Jr. (D) (626 votes – 146 less than Peggy Wilson) and nearly edged out 30-something lawyer Shane Landry (D) (680 votes – 92 less than Peggy Wilson). Working in Landry's favor, however, was the fact that the voters could hardly afford to lose to the council one of the city's few remaining lawn care workers.

Other 30-something candidates fared better, including District B candidate Stacy Head (D), who will face the incumbent in the general election, and District C run-off opponents James Carter (D) and Kristen Gisleson Palmer (D). Look for Gen X favorites Landry, Gerald DeSalvo (D), Sal Palmisano (R), and Sanjay Biswas (R) to run again in future races.

DeSalvo may have fallen short in his bid to unseat incumbent Marlin Gusman (D), but the result was far from evident in a comparison of election night partes. While DeSalvo and his supporters rocked and karaoke'd into the night at Ditcharo's – including a serenade by the candidate himself – a lonely Gusman was interviewed by a television crew against the backdrop of a cavernous, empty ballroom. By the way, DeSalvo, with 31,479 votes, had over 40 times as many votes as Peggy Wilson.

Political scientists are probably studying the showing of civil clerk of court challenger Douglas Castro (R) against likeable incumbent Dale Atkins (D). After qualifying just before the deadline, Castro essentially went into hiding and refused to debate, campaign, or even respond to interview requests. In fact, it is believed but not confirmed that Castro's barmates at Ditcharo's convinced him to enter the race and that he could have been cited for a QUI (qualifying under the influence)). Nevertheless, Castro received a respectable 16,713 votes (15,941 more than Peggy Wilson), suggesting that 18 percent of post-Katrina voters were determined to vote against the incumbent, regardless of the opponent.

Speaking of incumbents, the powerful assessors unfortunately fared well, with the only winning IQ candidate being the Sixth Municipal District's Nancy Marshall. (Two others forced a runoff.) On election day, Marshall took a seat on a bench outside the Creole Creamery, hobbled by a twisted ankle that prevented active stumping. Yet she managed to handily defeat Albert Coman, whose mother gave him the job when she retired last summer and who whored himself after Katrina by slashing assessments of undamaged houses. It will be fun to watch Marshall, an extremely tough litigator, antagonize the rest of the board over the next few months, especially if she's the only I.Q. candidate left standing. Think Peggy Wilson, in her anti-Morial days, on steroids.

During WDSU's election night coverage, Alec Gifford showed us he doesn't just look like a crazy old man. As election returns rolled in, and Nagin's share hovered around  35 percent, Gifford repeatedly wondered aloud what the percentage of votes had been cast for the other mayoral candidates. Oblivious to the thousands of viewers screaming at him through their television sets, Gifford never did realize all he needed to do was subtract Nagin's share from 100.

WDSU viewers who hung in there and kept watching the coverage after Nagin's "victory" speech were treated to the ominous scene of a sinister-looking Jesse Jackson and his bodyguards slithering away from the ballroom floor. If you think Jackson is only interested in voting rights, think again. The idea of a chocolate city having a white mayor, even a progressive one with a strong civil rights record like Landrieu, is repulsive to the anglophobic Jackson.

Finally, for those of you scoring at home, here's The Weathers Report's endorsement scorecard:

Wins – 3

Losses – 7

Runoffs – 5

Stay tuned.

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