The campaign for mayor of New Orleans has another new candidate — and perhaps some much-needed levity. He is Manny "Chevrolet" Bruno, who campaigned for the city's top job in 2002 and 2006 with the inimitable slogan: "A Troubled Man for Troubled Times." In past campaigns, Bruno was a single, out-of-work actor who barnstormed the city in an open convertible before retreating to his apartment over the Circle Bar, his unofficial campaign headquarters. Since the last race, Bruno married his only full-time campaign staffer. They have a 4-year-old daughter and a house in Mid-City. "I'm now a very troubled man," Bruno deadpanned.
Recently he announced his third race for mayor on the steps of Criminal Court "without realizing qualifying was not until December," he said. He also did not realize the courthouse was closed at the time. One television news station staffed the campaign kickoff, "but they showed up after I left," Bruno said. He finished 13th out of 15 candidates in the 2002 race, which was won by Ray Nagin. In 2006, Bruno won 100 votes — less than 1 percent of the total vote. Bruno says each time he runs he hears words of encouragement from veteran politico Eddie Sapir, who had not announced his own political ambitions by late last week. — Allen Johnson Jr.