Leslie Turk

NO Mayor-elect Landrieu delivers ‘unity' speech

by Leslie Turk

In his landslide victory speech Saturday night, Mitch Landrieu, 49, delivered a message about unity. It was a fitting call for New Orleans’ mayor elect, who earned extraordinary biracial support in defeating five major challengers in an 11-candidate field to win the primary. In May Landrieu will become the first white mayor of the majority-black city since his father Moon, who served from 1970 to 1978 and has been credited with integrating City Hall and working hard to appoint blacks to top positions, including his chief administrative officer.

“I think Mitch was the leading black candidate,” businessman Troy Henry, who ran second with 14 percent of the vote to Landrieu's 66 percent, told The Times-Picayune. In what has been described by the T-P as an “unusual and gracious move,” Henry showed up at the Roosevelt Hotel, where Landrieu delivered his victory speech, to congratulate his opponent. Landrieu welcomed Henry onto the stage, two men shook hands and embraced, and Landrieu raised Henry’s hand to loud applause from the audience.

Read Landrieu’s victory speech here.