Candidates in Baker mayoral race face off in runoff election - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Candidates in Baker mayoral race face off in runoff election

Leroy Davis (Source: WAFB) Leroy Davis (Source: WAFB)
Darnell Waites (Source: WAFB) Darnell Waites (Source: WAFB)
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BAKER, LA (WAFB) -

The battle for mayor in Baker is shaping up to be a close one. Saturday's election left the top two challengers, 27-year Army veteran Darnell Waites and former councilman and Baker mayor Leroy Davis, only separated by 38 votes. 

Waites said he "married into Baker" 14 years ago and wants to position the city in a direction that promotes development. 

"This is a decisive moment as to where we go with the city," he said. "Are we going to recycle leadership that we've had before or are we going to bring in new leadership and move us forward." 

Davis touted his experience having already served in public office in Baker. 

"I've been here. I know the issues, I know what's wrong with the city and I know how to fix it," he said. "I jumped back in so that I can get the city growing again. I have the experience and expertise in economic development." 

Baker councilwoman Joyce Burgess, who was the close third place finisher, said she hasn't endorsed a candidate just yet. 

"I think our people need to think who's going to best serve," Burgess said. "Who has my heart and that way I will still be a viable part of the community and still have a say." 

Early voting for the runoff will begin March 26, and the election will be held April 9. 

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