Mayoral candidates exchange ideas at forum Tuesday

Shreveport mayoral candidates get ready to answer questions in a forum Tuesday downtown. 

SHREVEPORT, La. - Candidates for mayor of Shreveport faced off Tuesday night at a candidate forum exchanging ideas about how to drive the city forward. The event held at the Performance Gallery downtown on Commerce Street and was moderated by Willie Burton.

Each candidate got a one minute opportunity to tout why they would be the best mayor of Shreveport.

“As a business owner of 20 years, I am a job creator,” said candidate Mario Chavez, a Caddo commissioner. “And I'm going to practice running the city with efficiency and streamlining processes and working for everybody in every neighborhood.”

Tracy Mendels, a retired Shreveport police officer and 14-year Army veteran, talked about her experience working with different neighborhoods across the city.

“I have worked every neighborhood in the city of Shreveport,” Mendels said. “There's not one I haven't been in and with that I have knowledge that every neighborhood needs different things. We have to fix problems that relate to each neighborhood.”

Mayor Adrian Perkins is running for re-election, after winning the race in 2018. He says that crime is down in 2022 across the city. He also says the city’s economics are strong.

“Today we're down in crime over 40% in Shreveport,” Perkins said. “But it's not just about numbers, we want to make sure our citizens feel safe. we also have an economy that's recovering faster than anyone anticipated. We hit our 2023 marks in 2022 and we are the second fastest recovering economy in the state.”

Julius Romano said he is best qualified because he would serve all the people.

“I have the expertise, skills, determination to get things done in the best interest of the people of Shreveport,” Romano said. “Not to promote the interest of a few, but in the interest of the many. If we cannot protect the many poor, we cannot save the few who are rich.”

Candidates Greg Tarver and Levette Fuller did not attend Tuesday’s forum. The election is seven weeks from Tuesday on Nov. 8. If no one wins a majority, there will be a runoff of the top candidates on Dec. 10.