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The Year of Voting Angrily: Mayor and City Council Elections

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The 2010 elections for mayor and city council may be the year of voting angrily in New Orleans, local experts say. "This election is about frustration and anger — those are the two major feelings among the voters," veteran political strategist Ron Nabonne told a recent nonpartisan seminar for prospective candidates hosted by local radio talk show host Monica Pierre. Nabonne said the slow pace of the recovery and "multiple investigations" of city government are fueling voter discontent. Silas Lee III, a veteran pollster and political analyst, agrees. "The frustration in New Orleans is the highest I've seen in 25 years." With the city projecting a $43 million operating deficit for 2010, the mood of the electorate is not likely to improve. Nabonne also cautioned the small, diverse audience of political hopefuls against being misled by racial demographics. "People want the same things: security for their homes and neighborhoods, honest and effective government, education for their kids — and they don't want to pay too many taxes." WVUE-TV reporter Rob Masson began his presentation on the "Big, Bad Media," saying, "The big question is: Why are you running?" All five panelists nodded in agreement, including local campaign strategist Calais H. Coulon and LSU psychologist Katrice Albert. Qualifying for the Feb. 6 primary is Dec. 9-11. — Allen Johnson Jr.

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