Ex-Mayor’s Son Wins Runoff in New Orleans : Election: Marc Morial, whose father was city’s first black leader, captures 54% of votes in campaign marred by racist and anti-Semitic flyers.
State Sen. Marc Morial, the son of the city’s first black mayor, won a mayoral runoff election Saturday after a campaign dominated by racist and anti-Semitic flyers.
Donald Mintz, a white attorney, conceded defeat about two hours after the polls closed.
With 421 of 474 precincts reporting, Morial had 83,363 votes, or 54%, to Mintz’s 69,957, or 46%.
Morial is the son of Ernest (Dutch) Morial, who served two terms as mayor from 1978 to 1986. Mintz lost a mayoral runoff four years ago. Both are Democrats.
Morial succeeds Sidney Barthelemy, who was ineligible to run after two terms. He will inherit recurring money woes with a $380-million-plus budget; the prospect of dealing with the world’s largest gambling casino, expected to open in the next year or two; and a record murder rate.
Morial, 36, was one of two former mayor’s sons in the race. State Rep. Mitch Landrieu, the son of the city’s last white mayor, Moon Landrieu, ran third in the primary behind Morial and Mintz.
As the race began late last year with 10 candidates, polls showed crime and dissatisfaction with a patronage-laden City Hall as the key issues.
Then flyers began appearing on doorsteps. One flyer alleged back room deals between Morial and Landrieu and questioned Morial’s sexual orientation. Others were peppered with swastikas and racist and anti-Semitic remarks later described by an investigative committee as “ghastly.”
On Feb. 4, a day before the primary in which all candidates compete regardless of party affiliation, a grand jury indicted an unpaid Mintz adviser, Napoleon Moses, on a misdemeanor charge of distributing anonymous--and therefore illegal--campaign flyers.
Mintz, 51, said he knew nothing about the flyers and dismissed Moses, but Morial blamed Mintz’s camp. In turn, Mintz’s campaign accused Morial of planting spies and using publicity from an investigation into the flyers as dirty campaign tactic.