Mayor’s haul already larger than last election
Less than 6 months out from the next mayoral election, Mitch Landrieu hasn’t attracted a single big-name competitor for the helm at City Hall— yet his fundraising machine continues to pick up the pace.
Landrieu raised $562,711 in cash during the first seven months of the year, according to a recent campaign filing. That’s about $80,000 a month, compared with about $63,000 a month last year.
The growing war chest will make Landrieu a formidable opponent to unseat, combined with relatively strong approval ratings and the power of incumbency. No mayor has failed to win a second term in the city’s modern history.
Altogether, Landrieu has raised about $1.9 million since February of 2010, already slightly more than the $1.8 million he had raised by election day during his last run, when he scored an unprecedented, landslide victory in the first round of voting. After spending some of his money, Landrieu has about $1.4 million still in the bank.
Recent donors include the typical mix of contractors, law firms, along with the occasional local celebrity. (Archie Manning gave $2,500.)
Sheriff Gusman seems less alarmed
Meanwhile, Orleans Parish Sheriff Marlin Gusman, who will also be asking voters for another term early next year, has shown none of the same urgency in raising funds to bolster his job security, despite persistent negative publicity over the jail that he runs and persistent criticism from the mayor’s office.
Although he raised a considerable sum last year — $127,725 — Gusman only brought in another $5,600 during the first seven months of 2013. That leaves him with about $559,530 on hand, down from $589,979 at the beginning of the year.
Still, few would write Gusman off as a candidate. Like the mayor, Gusman will hold the incumbent’s advantage. And he has so far attracted few competitors — at least publicly — for the generally thankless job of running the Orleans Parish Prison.
Alliance members endorse Burmaster
Members of the Alliance for Good Government don’t discuss the reasoning behind their endorsements, but one could be forgiven for thinking sheer numbers might have been a factor Tuesday night when the Jefferson Parish Chapter gave Barron Burmaster its stamp of approval for juvenile court judge.
Burmaster, a Republican from Crown Point, has been a Jefferson Parish prosecutor for 22 years, including 14 years spent in the juvenile division. And he clearly had the most, and most boisterous, supporters in the audience gathered at the Harahan Senior Center to hear the platforms of the judicial contenders.
Four candidates are vying to replace longtime Juvenile Judge Nancy Amato Konrad, who is retiring on October 31.
Burmaster’s ranks of supporters wore badges to signal their allegiance, and included Tim McElroy, chief of the trial division at the District Attorney’s office, former state Rep. Joe Toomy and the parents of 24th Judicial District Judge Scott Schlegel.
The other candidates are Connie Montgomery of Kenner, Stephen Petit of Metairie and Zoe Olivia Fleming, the lone Democrat, of Lafitte.
The primary election will be held Oct. 19.
Compiled by Andrew Vanacore and Chad Calder.