(CNN) – While the City of New Orleans is undoubtedly focused on Sunday’s Super Bowl featuring the hometown Saints, Saturday's mayoral election is also on the minds of many city residents.
In Orleans Parish, 11 mayoral candidates, Democrats and Republicans, are on the ballot to replace Mayor Ray Nagin, a term-limited Democrat. If no candidate wins 50 percent of the vote, the top two vote-getters will go head to head in a runoff.
But in addition to the election and Sunday's big game, the mayoral candidates also have to compete against Mardi Gras events this weekend.
On Election Day five carnival crews are holding their annual Mardi Gras parades across the Crescent City. Starting at noon many streets are blocked off as the floats and marching bands make their way down the wide avenues, and residents line the streets grasping for beads and doubloons.
Still, voters are tuning into the election, which current Louisiana Lt. Gov. Mitch Landrieu is favored to win, according to pre-election polls. If that happens, Landreiu will be the first white mayor of the city in more than 30 years. Landrieu, who lost his 2006 New Orleans mayoral bid, is the brother of current Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu.
The New Orleans Times-Picayune is reporting few Election Day hitches so far.
– CNN’s Eric Marrapodi contributed to this report
Washington (CNN) - File this one under all politics is local.
New Orleans will be rocking this weekend as Mardi Gras season is well underway and the hometown Saints contend in the Super Bowl. But all the celebratory hoopla is raising questions about Saturday's elections which include an open primary for Mayor.
In Orleans Parish eleven mayoral candidates, Democrats and Republicans, will be on the ballot to replace Mayor Ray Nagin, a Democrat who is term limited. If no candidate wins 50 percent of the vote, the top two vote getters will go headto head in a runoff.
On Election Day across the Crescent City there are five carnival crews scheduled to hold their annual Mardi Gras parades . Starting at noon many streets will be blocked off as the floats and marching bands make their way down the wide avenues and residents will line the streets grasping for beads and doubloons. Many will also be making preparations for Super Bowl celebrations.
Washington (CNN) - Education Secretary Arne Duncan has spent the last couple of days backpedaling from comments he made Sunday suggesting Hurricane Katrina was good for New Orleans' failing schools. But, while he's apologizing for poor word choice, his comments echo a truth spoken by many in New Orleans.
"It was a dumb thing to say and I apologize," Duncan told CNN Tuesday.
In a Sunday broadcast of TV One's Washington Watch with Roland Martin, Duncan was asked about the progress New Orleans schools have made since Katrina hit in 2005.
"This is a tough thing to say, but let me be really honest," Duncan replied. "I think the best thing that happened to the education system in New Orleans was Hurricane Katrina. That education system was a disaster, and it took Hurricane Katrina to wake up the community to say that 'we have to do better.'"
(CNN) – Louisiana's Lt. Gov. Mitch Landrieu announced Tuesday that he will run again for the mayor of New Orleans.
"I love New Orleans with all my heart and all my soul," the Democrat said in an online video announcing his bid. "It's where I grew up and where I'm raising my family. And I think anyone who loves this city like I do, understands that when New Orleans calls, you have to answer. She just won't let you go."
Landrieu said that if elected, he plans to create jobs, improve the city's schools, and make the streets of New Orleans safer.
"I'm going to need your help," Landrieu said. "We've got a future to create and a city to rebuild."
NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana (CNN) - Before a cheering crowd at a town hall meeting in New Orleans, President Obama fired back at critics who accuse him of accomplishing little in his nine months in office, saying "I'm just getting started."
"I never thought any of this was going to be easy," said Obama, speaking at the University of New Orleans in his first visit to the Gulf Coast city since taking office. He poked fun at his critics, asking, "Why haven't you solved world hunger yet? It's been nine months. Why?"
"What'd I say during the campaign? I said change is hard," Obama said. "Big change is harder. ... I wasn't kidding about it being hard."
"Those folks who are trying to stand in the way of progress ... let me tell you, I'm just getting started," he said. "I don't quit. I'm not tired. I'm just getting started."
(CNN) – President Barack Obama, who as a candidate lambasted the federal government for its response to Hurricane Katrina, is visiting New Orleans, Louisiana, as president for the first time Thursday, and is attracting some criticism of his own.
Four years after Hurricane Katrina, evidence of the storm's devastation still linger. Some 60,000 properties in New Orleans are still abandoned, and there are still 1,500 people in Louisiana living in temporary housing, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
The Army Corps of Engineers is only a third of the way through a $15 billion system to provide 100-year flood protection for the city.
However, the agency says 76 disputed projects in Louisiana have been resolved since Obama took office, and more than $1.4 billion in aid has been sent to Louisiana, along with more than $160 million to Mississippi. Still, the length and nature of Obama's visit Thursday is drawing some ire.