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Jones' philosophy gives him edge over Glover

Come election day, Democrat Rep. Cedric Glover is likely to lose to Republican former city attorney Jerry Jones in the Shreveport mayor’s race. To date, both candidates have shied away from making overtly partisan appeals but inescapably their partisanship acts as a shorthand for their policy preferences, in word and deed.

Glover cannot escape the fact that, in his elective political career, overall he has supported more government spending and power rather than less. Jones, although without an elective office to his name, consistently has articulated a vision of less intrusive government that is present less to redistribute resources than it is to create a structure by which individuals may maximize their talents and creative energies for the good of the entire community. Glover wishes to empower government; Jones wishes to empower people.

Jones’ view likely will prove to be the winning issue. Already, the realities of registration statistics (about 1,500 more whites than blacks), monoracial voting (historically in black Democrat vs. white Republican matchups, about 86 percent of whites vote for the white candidate, and around 93 percent of blacks vote for the black candidate in Shreveport mayoral contests), and a historical turnout differential of about 3 percent lower black to white, Glover has a lot of ground to make up (especially since black turnout in the primary was even lower than historical figures, only a shade over 40 percent, while white turnout was at 48 percent.).

Glover has been trying to cast the contest as much as he can in “brick-and-mortar, filling potholes, fighting crime” rhetoric, but Jones has done the same and promoted the smaller government vision (plus selectively reminded voters of Glover’s electoral record). The difference could come if Glover could articulate a vision along the lines of Jones, but he doesn’t have the material nor core beliefs to do so. It’s the only way he could bridge the gap, and that’s why he won’t.

And, if Jones succeeds, he deserves a tremendous amount of credit for taking the chance and prognosticating correctly. A couple of years ago, it seemed as if a black voting majority would be present in Shreveport by Oct., 2006, which would be enough for the turnout propensity that favored whites and the monoracial pattern which favored blacks to cancel, meaning a white candidate had a tough row to hoe. Then, the disproportionate black displacement of the metropolitan New Orleans area from Hurricane Katrina added some unanticipated black voters to the Caddo voting rolls. Regardless, Jones had the vision and wherewithal to forge ahead, and it looks like it will pay off in four years of a white, Republican mayor in a city with a black, Democrat plurality.

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