Tuesday, March 13, 2018

The Scoop



...on the upcoming city council races

Most of the hot-stove political conversations this year have been, to date, focused on this year’s mayor’s race. Not to be lost in the glare of the top elected spotlights are the seven council races that will also be on the November ballot.

There will be at least three new faces on the council once the dust clears from the primary and runoff elections. Jeff Everson (District B), Oliver Jenkins (District C) and Michael Corbin (District D) have “termed out.” They have served two consecutive four-year terms and cannot seek re-election this year.

Willie Bradford (District A), James Flurry (District E), Stephanie Lynch (District F) and Jerry Bowman (District G) are expected to run again. Lynch wore a “Re-Elect Stephanie Lynch City Council District F” T-shirt to a January council work session. Flurry had a re-election fund-raiser on March 6.

Voter demographics are always important, and especially this year when one or two districts could be “the swing district.” This reference is to “swinging” the council from a white to a black majority. District A is a solid black district, with 81

percent of the voters African-American, 15 percent white and 4 percent others. By party, 69 percent of the voters are Democrats, 10 percent are Republicans, and 21 percent are other party. Bradford upset the incumbent Rose McCulloch when he ran in 2013.

District B is the likely district to elect its first African-American council representative. Voter registration as of March 1 of this year reflected 57 percent registered black voters, 38 percent white voters and 5 percent others. The party breakdown is 55 percent Democrat, 28 percent others, and 17 percent Republican.

Everson defeated black candidates in both his elections in the runoffs. District C is the largest white voter district. Voters are 79 percent white, 16 percent black and 5 percent others. By party, the registration is 43 percent Republican, 30 percent Democrat and 27 percent others. Jenkins ran unopposed for re-election in 2013.

District D has the largest number of registered voters with 4,000 more voters than the next two largest districts (G and E). Voter composition is 73 percent white, 21 percent black and 6 percent others. By party the voters are 48 percent Republican, 30 percent Democrats and 22 percent other party.

District E could also be a swing district. The incumbent Flurry is a white Republican. The ratio of voters by race is 51 percent white, 45 percent black and 4 percent others. Party-wise, 51 percent of voters are Democrats, 45 percent are others, and 4 percent are Republicans.

Flurry swamped an African-American candidate in his 2013 runoff victory. District F has the largest black concentration of voters of the seven districts. Voters are 90 percent black, 7 percent are white, and 3 percent are others. By party, 72 percent are Democrats, 24 percent are others, and 4 percent are Republicans. This election could be a rematch of the Lynch-James Green 2013 battle.

District G voters are 78 percent black, 18 percent white and 4 percent others. By party, 69 percent are Democrats, 11 percent are Republicans, and 20 percent are other party. Bowman was a surprising primary victory over several opponents in 2013.

Not to be confused with the raw registration voter numbers are the numbers of “active voters.” In many districts, voters on the rolls have either moved out of the district and not reregistered or have become virtually nonexistent at the polls.

Those seeking office have many filters to utilize in deciding which voters should be actively pursued and what method of communication is the best in today’s world of social media.

John E. Settle Jr. has been a resident of Shreveport since January 1977. His articles appear regularly in local publications. He can be reached at 742-5513 or e-mail to: John@jesettle.com.

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