BR Mayor not likely to be recalled, but support down

Mayor Kip Holden
Mayor Kip Holden

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Just a few months into his volatile last term as mayor, some are already calling Kip Holden a lame duck. Support for Holden is wavering, but its unlikely he'll be recalled. Political experts say Holden is in a dangerous political situation, that could have long lasting effects.

"White officers targeting black men." Political analyst Clay Young says it was those words, first said by ousted Baton Rouge Police Chief Dewayne White during a radio interview months ago, that let to the escalation of a very public very bitter feud between White and Mayor Holden.

Young says during the show, White was speaking about what he wanted to accomplish during his time as chief. But when he spoke about perceived problems between his officers and the black community, the rift between chief and mayor heated up. And now, Young says, it appears the public is taking sides.

"The outgoing white police chief has the overwhelming support in the black community against the first black mayor," Young said. "That's pretty amazing."

That was clear at Wednesday nights council meeting.

"The fact that we elected an African-American mayor, I thought if anybody would be sensitive to the needs of the police department in reference to the African-American community, it would be him. But apparently I was mistaken," said Reverend Reginald Pitcher.

"We can no longer tolerate a mayor who's in the back pocket, or seemingly in the back pocket of the police union," said Charles Bethley.

Young says the mayor has also lost ground in other communities who may see Holden's actions as a power move and want to know if he they were justified.

While the mayor's ratings may be down, Young says he still has a lot of support.

"The business community largely backs the mayor still. He still has some support in the black community, still got support in more affluent neighborhoods. Kip Holden is a popular guy, he's a Baton Rouge original. He's done so much here," said Young. "Kip Holden is a very smart man, and a very smart politician. He's just got to make the right choices," said Young.

But what happens after Holden's time in city hall ends? Could this feud hurt his chances for other office?

"He's still got to prove to people that these are just allegations. He's going to have to answer for this. This is not going away," Young said.

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