Mayoral Election

I slept in this morning and woke up around 11. I fooled around on the computer for a while, mopped the kitchen and cleaned myself up to go vote. New Orleans is electing a new mayor tonight along with city council races, a new assessor, coroner and some judge positions. With Mardi Gras parades potentially being a problem, Dad and I left a bit early for me to get to work on time for five. I picked up some dinner from Five Happiness on the way although an hour after I arrived, a lot of pizza showed up. With the impending Super Bowl and tonight’s election, WVUE decided to do a lot of news coverage tonight. We scheduled an hour of Saints stuff at seven to be followed by three hours of election coverage. Finally we would have our standard half house news broadcast at 11.Unfortunately, we were preempting a NASCAR race, the Budweiser Shootout. The station was bombarded with complaint calls today in addition to the scores of e-mail we have received over the last few days. Since Fox 8’s viewing area extends far beyond Orleans parish, we had a lot of viewers on the Northshore and even Jefferson parish who were indignant.The polls closed at eight and we began our election coverage. John and Nancy were in studio with a political science professor from Tulane. We assigned a number of people to collect vote totals from 28 predetermined precincts decided by a gentleman we hired to act as an election analyst in the newsroom. It only took 10-15 minutes for the outcome of the mayor’s race to be apparent. The results we collected early showed vast support among black as well as white voters for Mitch Landrieu. We called the race on air at about 8:30. Landrieu got over 60% of the vote, more than enough to avoid a runoff election. Most of the other races were reasonably clear-cut early on. The only real drama was for the Council at Large seats. The two top candidates in the field were to be elected. Arnie Fielkow placed first. Jackie Clarkson, the other incumbent edged out Cynthia Willard-Lewis by about 1,500 votes in a tight battle for second place.Between reporting on the returns we had several live shots to go to with look lives thrown in as well. We were live from the Landrieu and Georges campaign headquarters. Our special coverage continued until about 11 when we started a regular half hour news broadcast which wrapped our election stuff and presented other news of the day, like tomorrow’s Black and Gold Super Bowl.

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