February 8, 2013 6:00 am
Now that the Super Bowl has come and gone, local coffee shop chatter will soon start on the upcoming 2014 elections for Shreveport Mayor and City Council. Just like the NFL is fast becoming a blood sport, these elections could very well be the most contested (i.e. nasty) in local memory.
For starters there will be a new occupant in the Mayor’s office and, at least, two (2) new members of the City Council. Mayor Cedric Glover is termed out along with Councilmen Joe Shyne and Ron Webb. The remaining council members are expected to seek re-election, provided they are not running for mayor.
The mayor’s race, will, of course, be the main event and for all practical purposes it is the most important election for Shreveport voters. State Representative Patrick Williams gave serious consideration to challenging Big G in the 2010 election and is definitely on go to be a candidate, and a serious one at that. Shreveport City Councilman Sam Jenkins is being pushed by the Glover camp, and he has acknowledged that he is “considering” the race. Another name floating about is that of State Representative Roy Burrell, who was trounced by Glover in 2010. Parker Ward, who now is old enough to drive at night, has said he will again be a mayoral candidate.
As far as the Council goes, there will probably be several contested races. Rose Wilson-McCullough represents District A; and she is likely to draw an opponent. Councilman Jeff Everson will certainly face an opponent in District B, which is the so-called “swing” district. And District D Councilman Mike Corbin may face opposition to a re-election bid; some citizens are not happy with his position on the extension of 3132 and the Esplanade curb cut to Flournoy Lucas.
Joe Shyne’s District F open seat will draw several candidates. Two who are reported to be seeking this spot are former Councilman Reverend James Green who served two (2) terms between Shyne’s two (2) terms and Caddo Commissioner Stephanie Lynch who will be termed out of her commission seat in 2016.
The seat for District E will also be open. Caddo Commissioner David Cox , who has previously served on the Council, may run for that seat; Cox is termed out in 2016. The movers and the shakers in the Southern Hills area are looking for a candidate.
If Sam Jenkins runs for mayor, one can expect a hotly contested race in District G. A possible candidate is Willie Bradford, who has talked about seeking the mayor’s seat. Caddo Commissioner Joyce Bowman, who previously represented this district, will have a big influence in that race.
Oliver Jenkins, the first termer from District C, will probably get a free ride – with no opponents, or a nominal opponent at best like he did in 2010. Oliver may be considering a race for Mayor, although must believe that he will take the safe option of returning to the Council.
It’s early yet to order any bumper stickers or yard signs, especially for the Council races. But for those contemplating a run for the top spot at City Hall, the time is now to put the toe in the water, the wet finger into the wind and start the backroom talks. Like an exaggerated game of Blind Man’s Bluff, potential mayoral candidates are starting to make the rounds with the political power brokers, seeking support, or at least neutralizing early selections without their name being considered. The stakes are high and the game will become much more intense in the upcoming months.