Dec 132013
 

Stephen Gordon

Stephen Gordon

Reid Stone

Reid Stone

An advocate for Lakeview street repairs and a marketing entrepreneur bring the field of candidates vying for Susan Guidry’s seat on the New Orleans City Council to six when qualifying closed Friday afternoon, but Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell drew no opponents.

Stephen Gordon and Reid Stone

New Orleans native Stephen Gordon is the owner of FlashTech, a company that designs automotive lighting, but he said his platform is simple: “Fix the streets in Lakeview.”

“We have probably the worst streets in the city of New Orleans and nobody seems to be doing anything about it,” Gordon said. “The complaint falls on deaf ears, year in and year out. … I’ve had neighbors who traded their cars in to buy SUVs so they can navigate the roads where they live. That’s a problem.”

While the problem is the worst in Lakeview, Gordon said he expects his message resonate across the district. “Everybody in city of New Orleans has issues with the roads,” he said.

Gordon is registered as an independent with the Secretary of State’s office, but he said he was raised a Republican until just before he registered. The present-day Republican Party has shifted away from some of his beliefs, he said, but more importantly, “The issues with streets should have no party affiliation,” Gordon said.

The other candidate to file on Friday was Reid Stone, a co-founder of the HERO|farm marketing and public relations firm. Stone moved to New Orleans shortly after Hurricane Katrina, according to his biography on the HERO|farm website. Stone filed to run as a Republican.

“He felt like Council needed an injection of energy,” said Shaun Walker, a co-founder of HERO|farm. “It’s something he’s always been interested in doing.”

Coleman’s comments

Jason Coleman

Jason Coleman

David Capasso

David Capasso

Drew Ward

Drew Ward

Also facing Guidry are Drew Ward, a Republican active in the Riverbend neighborhood, Jason Coleman, a local Democratic party official from the Carrollton area, and David Capasso, an attorney affiliated with progressive political causes in New Orleans.

Coleman, a west-Carrollton resident whose family owns the Coleman Cab Company, said his frustration with the changes imposed on the taxi industry were only a part of his decision to run. More important, he said, was what he perceives as a lack of leadership in District A.

“My area, my constituents don’t feel like they have been promised anything in the next four, and they didn’t get anything out of the last four,” Coleman said Friday after qualifying.

Money has been set aside for a community center in west Carrollton for years, Coleman said, but residents don’t know its status — “It seems like another backroom deal. The only thing that has changed is the people.” And crime remains a top concern in west Carrollton — where 11-year-old Arabian Gayles was shot in September while sleeping at home.

“You shouldn’t be scared to be shot standing on your porch. You shouldn’t be scared, as a black male, to be shot by a police officer who won’t be convicted of murder,” Coleman said. “We have to invest in these youngsters in a manner that they feel respected and loved, and set them on a career path that’s going to provide them with more than the minimum wage.

“We’ve done the same thing for several years, and it’s not working,” Coleman said. “It’s time to try something different.”

* * *

Susan Guidry

Susan Guidry

LaToya Cantrell

LaToya Cantrell

Meanwhile, in District B, no one filed to run against City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell.

The election is Feb. 1, with a runoff if necessary on March 15.

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  • Lyle Luquette

    with 5 people running against Guidry, it shows what Guidry hasn’t done for this city. Gorden is correct on the streets, lakeview and hollygrove have the worst streets in the city and Guidry has done nothing. Drew Ward is a true believer in small buisness in the uptown area. Guidry you will have to actually campaign and show voters what you have done to help this area. You cannot use Costco and the zoo for every answer.