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Eddie SAPIR, Darren MIRE OUT OF COUNCIL RACE 

  Former City Councilman Eddie Sapir and city assessor Darren Mire both abandoned their candidacies for an at-large seat on the New Orleans City Council within an hour of each other Dec. 23. In a statement, Sapir stressed his commitment to avoiding division in the city, saying, "We must avoid further division and instead help with the city's unification." In his own statement, Mire said, "While I believe that my civic, government and business experience lend themselves to focused, progressive citywide leadership, circumstances surrounding this election are not in alignment with my desire to run." Their withdrawals drew the race down to seven people for two at-large seats, including three current New Orleans councilmembers: Jackie Clarkson, Arnie Fielkow and Cynthia Willard-Lewis. Also on the slate: William "Poppa" Gant, Nolan Marshall, Gregory Sonnier and "Lance" W. von Uhde III. — Kevin Allman

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