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Who Dat? New Orleans elects first white mayor since ’78

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Who Dat? New Orleans elects first white mayor since ’78

NEW ORLEANS | Frustrated by term-limited Mayor Ray Nagin’s leadership of New Orleans since Hurricane Katrina, voters elected Louisiana Lt. Gov. Mitch Landrieu to succeed him Saturday, turning to a political scion to speed up the city’s recovery.

Mr. Landrieu, 49, became the majority-black city’s first white mayor since 1978, the year his father, Maurice Edwin “Moon” Landrieu, left the office. The mayor-elect, a moderate Democrat, won in a landslide over a field of 10 opponents in a campaign that concluded as Carnival celebrations and preparations for the New Orleans Saints’ appearance in the Super Bowl took place.

Mr. Landrieu’s victory party was a nod to both: The ballroom of the Roosevelt hotel – recently reopened after a post-Katrina restoration – was festooned with Saints-themed black-and-gold balloons. A roving brass band played Mardi Gras tunes, and he prefaced his victory speech by leading the crowd in the Saints’ “Who Dat” cheer.

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