Mayor's race generating little excitement from donors, voters
Back in the summer of 2008, Metro Council member Mike Walker counted Mayor Kip Holden among his closest political allies. "I love Kip Holden to death," Walker said at the time, in reference to the mayor's proposed $900 million bond issue. "I'm glad he has the courage to present this bond issue." These days, the love is nowhere to be found, and Walker—the main challenger in the mayor's bid for a third term—is taking on his former friend in one campaign forum after another, attacking Holden's record on crime, crime and, well, crime. "The No. 1 responsibility of all public officials is public safety," Walker said at a forum in late September. "Mayor Holden has forgotten that." That Walker and Holden's relationship has devolved so dramatically in such a relatively short amount of time is one of the more interesting aspects of the 2012 Baton Rouge mayor's race. The other is that the lackluster political contest has been such a sleeper—focusing on few issues, attracting just one viable opponent, raising little money, and generating almost no interest outside of the most diehard of political circles. "I recruited hard for this race and finally quit because I couldn't find anyone that would light a fire under people," says businessman and political activist Lane Grigsby. "Politics is so ugly and mean-spirited that qualified, capable and competent people do not want to run." Read the complete cover story of the new issue of Business Report by Editor Stephanie Riegel here.
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