Mitch Landrieu may have gotten the lion's share of media endorsements in the 2010 mayoral race, but the bigger story may lie with New Orleans' three African-American owned publications, each of which supported a white candidate for mayor. Whether it's a reflection of changing times or of this year's slate of contenders, the result tracks with a Clarus Research Group poll conducted for WWL-TV in mid-January. The poll found 47 percent of self-identified black voters supporting one of the three white major candidates, while only 7 percent of self-identified white voters supported one of the three black major candidates.
Data News Weekly endorsed John Georges in a one-paragraph editorial, while The Louisiana Weekly began its endorsement of Landrieu with fulsome praise for James Perry, finally concluding, "Under normal circumstances, our editors would have had no hesitation in endorsing James Perry for mayor of New Orleans, and in the future, we might do just that. Today's reality, however, in February 2010, five years after Katrina, is far from a normal circumstance."
The most convoluted endorsement came from the New Orleans Tribune, which had blistered state Sen. Ed Murray in uncommonly personal language when he dropped out of the race in early January, saying in an editorial that Murray "dealt a blow to this community beyond belief, a blow with ramifications that we will be dealing with for years to come." In the end, the paper threw its support to Georges, saying in an editorial, "We think John Georges is the best candidate to 'hold' the mayor's office while we in the African-American community regroup. We know for sure Georges is the best candidate to stop the juggernaut that is barreling down on this community as we write." The title of the editorial? "It's Complicated." — Kevin Allman