BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The two remaining candidates in the race for East Baton Rouge mayor-president will make their final push to win the job in a December runoff.
Though a lot has happened since they first announced, state Sen. Bodi White and former state Senator Sharon Weston Broome were long expected to end up facing each other in a final sprint to the mayor's office. Political analyst Jim Engster said there were no surprises in the voting booths.
"The two best-known and best-financed candidates survived and they did so by a pretty good margin. Bodi White got the lion's share of the Republican votes and Sharon Weston Broome got the lion's share of the Democratic votes, and now it comes down to which one survives," Engster said.
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The two candidates are somewhat similar. Both have served terms in the Louisiana House and Senate and both are hoping to unify Baton Rouge.
However, Broome was able to secure a slight edge over her Republican opponent, capturing 32 percent of the vote Tuesday. A lead she hopes to hold on to until the runoff on December 10.
"What we're doing right now is we're reaching out to everyone," Broome said. "We want to be inclusive of all candidates, of all the supporters of the other candidates. We want them to come under our tent and work with us on that campaign trail."
White, who walked away with 29 percent of the vote Tuesday, said his campaign is also gaining steam, hinting that voters may soon get a revamped version of his original message.
"Same person, same message but probably a little different presentation. I'll make those final decisions tomorrow. I think we'll start meeting probably tonight or tomorrow and decide how we're gone run this last month," White said.
Traffic, education, and healthcare have taken center stage in the mayor race since the beginning, and now each candidate said more than ever they want voters to zero in on those key issues and how each one hopes to address them.
"Indeed as we move forward we have to have a leader that is focused on bringing our community together so that we can maximize the opportunities and the potential that exists within our city and parish," Broome.
"All the things that are important in East Baton Rouge Parish I've worked on," White said. "I'm the person that can move this parish forward and make this a great parish for everyone, not any one area and I'm going to treat everyone fair just like I have always done in my House and Senate districts."
No matter what strategies are put in place over the next month, it is clear the race for the next mayor-president will likely be close.
"It's going to be a tough race between Senator White and Senator Broome," Engster said.
There is not a lot of time left and both candidates have a lot of work ahead of them to claim critical votes as the runoff election is expected to yield a lower voter turnout.