Roy Burrell – “Running Again to Lose?”

Shreveport Attorney John Settle
by John Settle

No, that is not how State Representative Roy Burrell’s business card reads; it actually says “Running Again to Win”. The reference is obviously to his dismal race to defeat the then incumbent Mayor Cedric Glover in 2010. Local observers do not know if Burrell is really serious or just having a politician’s fantasy of staying on the public payroll after his current term in the House of Representatives ends in 2016.Burrell-Running Again to Win

Burrell made an extremely dismal showing in the 2010 mayoral election when he ran against Glover and then City Councilman Bryan Wooley. Glover finished with 45% of the vote, Burrell drew a measly 13% in the primary. Burrell disappointed his primary supporters with just about everything about his campaign, starting with his kickoff announcement at the Shreveport Convention Center and ending when he blamed supporters for his resounding defeat.

Burrell started his political career by serving on the Shreveport City Council, and was elected to the State Legislature in 2003. Burrell managed to defeat his only serious challenge to his House seat, – Dr. Raymond Hicks, – by winning a court challenge to Hick’s residence within the district in 2011.

bizcamp-ICEBurrell is the founder of Democrats 2000, the founder/director of the Inner City Entrepreneur Institute (I.C.E.), a coordinator of the National Buy Freedom Program and a leader with the Right Way Foundation. As former engineer at Shreveport’s AT&T plant, Burrell is a business consultant in his “day job.”

Burrell’s state representative website advises readers that he is not only the elected representative of House District 2, but also the “overseer” of its great citizens. Presumably the reference is to his humble beginning as the eighth child of fourteen in a farming family. Some disgruntled constituents say that his high style of living and big house on North Lakeshore reflects a plantation mentality.

Burrell’s pocketbook has obviously flourished since he went to Baton Rouge. Presumably he has also benefitted from the expansion of his BizCamp program to include “sponsors” from many community businesses; these undisclosed sums appear to be akin to lobbying fees or political shakedowns. The BizCamp operates with very little expenses, and Burrell has refused to release financial information in response to public record requests.

Got Any?
Got Any?

Burrell’s track record since the 2010 election reflects no real accomplishments that would logically support a second run for mayor. Other than a self-adulating newsletter that has included pictures of his vegetable garden, Burrell has made no real inroads to bolster his standing in the black community. In 2010, he was basically an unknown in the white community outside of his district, and he remains so today.

Most local politicos believe Burrell’s posturing for mayor is a truly disguised job search. Burrell will probably want to be paid a consultant fee during the run-off campaign, – and thereafter be a member of the new Mayor’s Cabinet or even the Chief Administrative Officer. In reality Burrell has little chance of winning the mayoral race in 2014; as his term winds down, his political influence will vapidly dissipate.

WhoMeA simple fax to Burrell asking “you running for Mayor” was answered, by fax, as an inquiry “concerning me making my final decision to run again for Shreveport’s Mayor in 2014. Honestly I have had little time to focus on the 2014 Mayoral race, given my State Representative responsibilities … At present, I do not have intentions of offering myself as a 2014 Mayoral candidate but I will continue to source (sic) the support of the community for real change and a greater vision for it’s citizens before making any formal announcement.” Taken at face value, printing the “Running Again to Win” business cards must have been trial balloon – or was it?