by Kevin Allman
Not 24 hours after Mardi Gras ended, the City Council District A race got heaty when the Jay Batt camp sent out an announcement saying third-place finisher Virginia Blanque had endorsed Batt for the runoff. Now Batt's opponent, Susan Guidry, is firing back with a little vinegar of her own. In a statement provided by her spokesman, Matt Larson, Guidry says of the endorsement:
"I am shocked given that Virginia Blanque's campaign message -- like mine -- was that Jay Batt represents the politics of the past and that we can't effect change by recycling a politician we previously voted out of office.
"I agree with what Ms. Blanque said during the campaign that we need 'a new direction in District A' and 'a break from politics as usual' (Virginia Blanque campaign material). Jay Batt doesn't represent a new direction. This endorsement reeks of political deal making.
"This is eerily similar to what happened 4 years ago, when Sal Palmisano said before the primary election that he would not support Batt and then changed his tune after Batt hired him as a 'paid consultant' in the runoff. It didn't fool the public then, and I don't think it will now."
There's no District A forum scheduled yet, but there's sure to be one or two between now and the runoff Mar. 6. We'll keep you posted.