Nagin wins re-election in New Orleans

NEW ORLEANS, May 20 (UPI) -- New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin won a second term Saturday, edging out Lt. Gov. Mitch Landrieu by a narrow margin.

The Times-Picayune reported Nagin keeps alive a 60-year win streak for incumbents in the city, and continued the tradition of an African American as mayor.


African Americans have held the mayor's job since 1978.

Earlier, reports said voter turnout was lighter than expected Saturday.

The New York Times said turnout was lighter than it was in the April primary, even with buses bringing in hurricane-displaced voters from Houston to be greeted by jazz bands.

State Secretary of State Al Ater reported the voting was largely trouble-free, the Times-Picayune said.

City residents were deciding between incumbent Nagin and Landrieu in a runoff.

The Times-Picayune said the election was expected to be decided by only a few thousand votes and there had already been more absentee and early voting than in the contentious April primary election.

Most of the increased mail and early voting has been by African Americans, who formerly made up the majority of New Orleans.

Many are living around the country after Hurricane Katrina put most of the city under water in August.


Voting rights groups say the disproportionate displacement of the city's black citizens is a concern, especially when trying to reach all voters for the election.

Damon Hewitt of the NAACP's Legal Defense Fund said "voting rights are going to be an issue for a long time in Louisiana."

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