He’s certainly a controversial figure. The mayor of a bruised and beaten New Orleans still deep in the process of recovery, Ray Nagin may be setting his sights on a new leadership position – governor of Louisiana. Some, in fact, believe the mayor may announce his candidacy soon. Nagin himself has said, "[t]he only way I would do something like that is if I thought it would help this recovery." Others, however, may find Nagin’s rumored candidacy to be a bit troubling. According to one poll Nagin’s disapproval rating stands at 65%, while political critics openly wonder "[w]hy is he worrying about all this just now, when he’s got so much else on his plate?" Nagin stands behind his record in New Orleans, citing a population return of 60% and a clean-up of the French Quarter, but G. Pearson Cross, professor of politics at the University of Louisiana, says Nagin’s bid is "dead in the water." At least one editorial columnist has argued, "New Orleans needs a full-time mayor who is worried about rebuilding the city, not someone using the problems as a platform to climb up another rung on the political ladder." The current governor of Louisiana, Kathleen Blanco, roundly criticized as weak and indecisive in her handling of the Katrina crisis, has decided not to seek re-election.
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