What had long been considered a three-way race for the open District B seat on the City Council attracted two more candidatesin a busy last day of filing Friday — including bounce artist Marlon “10th Ward Buck” Horton — while one of Uptown’s two school board members drew an opponent, and several more candidates emerged to run for the two Congressional seats that represent New Orleans.
Three candidates — LaToya Cantrell, Dana Kaplan and Eric Strachan — had already begun campaigning for Stacy Head’s former district, and they will be joined by Horton and Donald Vallee, a former president of the New Orleans Landlord Association.
In a short interview Friday afternoon, Horton said his decision to run was heavily influenced by his unsuccessful quest to obtain permission to sell alcohol at his Jackson Avenue restaurant, Finger Lick’n Wings, over the last year. Neighbors were split over the request, and Horton said it seemed a decision against him had already been made when he reached the City Council, and he was surprised that they didn’t even ask him any questions.
“It’s like they weren’t even concerned. It’s like the people who had already filled them in on what I was doing,” Horton said, adding that he’s noticed a similar pattern in subsequent issues. “There isn’t a balance. If one council person votes one way, everyone else does the same.”
Horton said the theme of his campaign will be “fixing broken resources” — referring to recreation equipment and parks, schools and other aspects of city government — instead of trying to build everything new from scratch. For more on his plans, see a report by Mary Devon-Dupuy in NOLA Defender.
As a member of the Road Home board of directors, Vallee has played a prominent role in the debate over the city’s housing and real-estate market. In 2009, he advocated a moratorium on new affordable housing construction so a comprehensive study of the market could be completed. As a member of the Louisiana Land Trust board, he has pushed for the city to sell vacant, overgrown publicly-owned lots more quickly at auction.
On the Orleans Parish School Board, District 5 representative Seth Bloom avoided a challenger — likely securing an easy path to re-election for him — but in District 6, incumbent Woody Koppel will face a challenge from Jason Coleman.
For Congress, each incumbent will face four opponents.
In the First Congressional District, U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise will face Republican Gary King of New Orleans, Democrat Vinny Mendoza of Ponchatoula and unaffiliated candidates David “Turk” Turknett of Galliano and Arden Wells of Ponchatoula.
In the Second District, U.S. Rep. Cedric Richmond will face two Republicans, Dwayne Bailey of Donaldsonville and Josue Larose of New Orleans, Democrat Gary Landrieu of New Orleans and Libertarian Caleb Trotter of New Orleans.