SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Candidates running for Shreveport Mayor started the qualification process Wednesday morning.
Several people declared their candidacy in the mayor’s race, including a Caddo Parish Commissioner, a former city council member, a retired police officer, a sitting state senator, and an Ivy League graduate. Shreveport Mayor Adrian Perkins announced his run for reelection in November.
Our cameras captured several candidates at the Caddo Parish Clerk of Court’s Office to sign paperwork formally announcing their intention to run for Shreveport Mayor. Caddo Parish Commissioner Mario Chavez and retired Shreveport police officer Tracy Mendels say the number one issue they’ll address if elected is crime, followed by the city’s cleanliness.
“We need a businessman that comes down to City Hall and runs the city like a business and works for everybody, and works for every neighborhood, works on bringing unity and bring the city together,” said Chavez.
Mendels said addressing crime in the city is the first step to improving the local economy.
“Why would you want to bring a business or any type of economic development here if you drive through the city and it’s all about how many people get shot today or how dirty the city is because you’re driving it. You’re seeing it, and it’s every roadway.”
According to the requirements listed on the Louisiana Secretary of State’s website, to qualify for any mayoral race in the state, a candidate must be an eligible voter in the municipality that they seek. They also must have their listed residence in the city for at least one year before the election.
Qualified candidates include:
Tracy Mendels, a retired U.S. Army Sergeant and retired Shreveport Police Officer, qualified Wednesday afternoon at the Caddo Parish Courthouse. Mendels is the only woman in the mayoral race.
Mendels says she is tired of the crime and believes Shreveport is worse than ever. She also thinks workforce training and expanded educational opportunities are needed.
Melvin Slack qualified for the race Wednesday. Slack previously ran for Shreveport mayor in 2014 but did not capture enough votes to make it to a run-off.
Caddo Commissioner Mario Chavez has also qualified for the mayor’s race. Chavez surprised local republicans when he announced that he would seek the city’s top position by running as a no-party candidate.
Shreveport lawyer Lauren Ray Anderson qualified for the mayoral race Wednesday as well. The Libertarian candidate has practiced law for 7 years, first in Texas and then back home in Louisiana. She completed her undergrad at LSU Shreveport before obtaining her Juris Doctor from St. Mary’s University of Law.
Other candidates who have declared but have not yet qualified include:
- Shreveport Mayor Adrian Perkins
- District 39 Senator Greg Tarver
- Tom Arceneaux
- Darryl R. Ware II
Qualifying for the election on Nov. 8 elections ends Thursday.