Yes, its that time in an election year. Much like jonquils sprouting here, yon and everywhere, more names keep popping up as potential candidates for the mayor’s race.
For those keeping tally, Jim Taliaferro should now be added to their March Madness “mayor wantabe” list.
Taliaferro is widely known for his association with the Shreveport Crime Stoppers program. He currently serves as the Executive Director.
Taliaferro challenged Shreveport City Marshal Charile Caldwell in the 2014 Marshal’s race. He lost to Caldwell in the runoff election by a 57%-43% margin.
Taliafferro has combined 34 years of service in the San Diego and Shreveport police departments. Before his law enforcement career, Taliaferro served in the U.S. Navy and U.S.
Taliaferro is a white Republican. So is Lee O. Savage who has said he will formally announce on April 28. The other white candidate in the mix is Ray Smith, who lists his party affiliation as Libertarian.
Taliaferro’s potential candidacy raises many questions.
Initially, his law enforcement background will be questioned by many rank and file at the Shreveport Police Department (SPD). Reportedly, his service as public information officer and then head of the SPD Crime Stoppers Program did not entail any supervisory or investigative activities.
Another concern that was raised during his Marshal’s race was his actual residence. Taliaferro has a Shrveport address that is the same as his mother. He also has farm outside the city limits.
If he decides to jump into the race, Taliaferro must address several realities.
The first is the ability to raise money, as in serious funds. Most observers believe that this will be a major issue for any challenger, especially because of an ailing Shreveport economy.
The second is the difficulty in upending an incumbent mayor. Under the Mayor-Council form of government 3 incumbent mayors have won re-election: John Hussey, Keith Hightower, and Cedric Glover. Only Bo Williams lost a re-election bid and that was to Hightower.
And the third challenge, and perhaps the most difficult to evaluate is that of race, sex and political party.
Tyler is a black, female Democrat.
Taliaferro is a white, male Republican.
The total number of registered voters in Shreveport , as of March 1, 163,043.
By political party, there are 78,657 Democrats, 45,231 Republicans and 39,155 voters who listed “other” as affiliation.
By race, the breakdown is 80,750 white, 75,502 black and 6791 “others.” By sex, the breakdown is 58 percent female and 42 percent male.
Having both Savage and Taliaferro in the mix is not a good situation for local Republicans. And add to this is the possibility of Rod Demery, a black Republican, will jump into the Mayors race.
If more than one Republican candidate actually files, then any endorsement will most likely not be make by the Republicans until the run off election.
If Taliaferro decides to run, he will need to resign from his Crime Stopper’s post. Additionally, he is an officer in a company that, reportedly, has a contract with the City of Shreveport. If so, he will need to resign that position as well.
The best bet is that Taliaferro will kick the can, get some publicity, and then decide to stay in the house when its time to file for the Mayor’s race.
If not, his candidacy could be a major letdown, much more than his foray into the city marshal’s race. Simply put, Taliaferro is a familar face to many, but not one that engenders any real excitement or energy.