Mayoral candidates erupt over federal grant announcement

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Mayor President Melvin "Kip" Holden announced Wednesday that the city parish has been awarded a $1.5 million grant for the Baton Rouge Area Violence Elimination Project called BRAVE.

The grant will provide $500,000 a year for the next three years. However the grant's announcement has gotten more attention than the grant itself; Mayor Holden claims his opponent Mike Walker seized the opportunity on Tuesday to take the credit.

"For him (Walker) to take this and try to turn this into a political gain on his part is kind of childish," says Holden following the announcement. "It's a major insult to the people who did the work. This guy not only was not involved but he hasn't even attended a meeting of the group of people here."

Walker fired back late Wednesday, "I'm not trying to take credit for anything," he said. "Bless the mayor's heart, you know he can think whatever he wishes. The mayor's just upset because we took the initiative to do something he didn't do."

Walker sent letters to U.S. Senators Mary Landrieu D-LA and David Vitter D-LA along with Congressman Bill Cassidy R-LA asking them to support the BRAVE grant. Holden says the city was notified last Wednesday about the awarding of the grant but the announcement was delayed until Wednesday because of the Hurricane. When Walker found out late Tuesday, his office issued a mass e-mail notification about the awarding of the grant.

"Politics is Politics but if this guy chooses to live by not telling the truth that's something that he has to deal with," says Holden.

"I don't care I'm not going tit-for-tat about whose going to call a news conference," replied Walker. "I couldn't care less about a press conference.

No word yet when the grant will arrive.

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