Especially when encountering Democrat state Sen. Greg Tarver’s dog whistles, Republican Shreveport mayoral candidate Tom Arceneaux doesn’t seem to have the wherewithal to pursue intensely enough that office successfully.
The two survivors of the general election who will meet in the December runoff participated in a forum this week and answered questions cautiously throughout. Tarver had every reason to, being the perceived frontrunner with the numbers on his side.
Arceneaux didn’t. A candidate in that situation – a white Republican running against a black Democrat in a city with a majority of Democrats more than double Republican registrants and with a black majority electorate – must come out swinging to change the dynamics. Negative campaigning may grate, draw frowns from the chattering classes, and appear clichéd – but it works.