Saints mania distracts N.O. voters

By Caroline Moses - bio | email

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WAFB) - With all the Saints hype, many people in New Orleans may have forgotten about the election this weekend, one in which the city will elect a new mayor.

Mother's Restaurant, a place that always knows about the appetite of New Orleans voters, was filled with a crowd salivating over the Saints and not civic responsibilities. It is a place known to many natives as the center of the city. The restaurant's home-cooked meals bring a variety of people to the line. The conversation in Wednesday's lines was all about the Saints.

"We haven't even read the carnival schedule yet, that's how bad it is," said Kelly Roche. "Everyone is so focused on Super Bowl Sunday."

"We're just here for the Saints," said another customer.

Many may not know it by the headlines, but there is a major mayor's race underway in New Orleans, one that does not include incumbent Ray Nagin.

"I think they're interested," said Shawn Roche. "I just don't think they're as committed as they usually are. We're just so overshadowed with what's going on with Saints of course Mardi Gras. It's just a lot of distractions."

"Everything has taken a backseat, so it's not surprising that the mayor's race has also taken a back seat," said Greg Rosenstein. "When they planned the election and set a date, who would have thought the Saints would be in the Super Bowl?" questioned Jerry Amato, owner of Mother's.

Amato added he's bracing for a taste of Saints Super Bowl victory. He doesn't have time to talk politics. His heart beats black and gold.

"Do you realize how big the Saints going to the Super Bowl is?" he asked. "It's 43 years. I heard the first game on my 17th birthday."

City officials are encouraging New Orleans voters to go to the polls this weekend and vote early.

The candidates in the race are current Lt. Gov. Mitch Landrieu, former gubernatorial candidate John Georges, Troy Henry, Rob Couhig, James Perry and Nadine Ramsey.

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