BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Darryl Gissel became the seventh person to announce his candidacy Tuesday. He joins an already crowded field of people hoping to become the next mayor-president of East Baton Rouge Parish.
Political analysts said of the known candidates, there are three front-runners: Republican state Sen. Bodi White, Republican Metro Councilman John Delgado, and Democrat Sharon Weston Broome, who is a former state senator.
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LSU professor Bob Mann said crossover votes are key.
"I think it's anyone's advantage to try and cross over not only racial and ethnic lines but also geographic lines," Mann said. "This parish is really divided geographically and I think that may be where the true crossover has to happen."
Southern University political professor Dr. Albert Samuels agreed the candidate will have to expand their comfort zone of voters.
"I think it's very clear that we have three major contenders," he said. "The ability to expand beyond one's base is going to be critical. It may not matter as much in the primary but it is going to be critical in the runoff."
The other candidates rounding out the field for the November election are Republicans Darryl Gissel and Smokie Bourgeois along with Democrat Byron Sharper. Greg Lafleur, the former Southern University athletic director, is also running.