It’s not even the Ides of March, but yet the rumblings on Shreveport mayoral candidates are increasing virtually daily.
Qualifying for the local elections (mayor, city council and Caddo School Board) is July 18 - July 20. The primary election is November 6 and the run-off election is December 8.
Shreveport Mayor Ollie Tyler has announced that she will seek a second term. She is expected to have a formal announcement after the April 28 millage vote.
Tyler had three low-key fund raising events starting in August of last year. A campaign finance report filed January 11 reflected campaign funds of $33,000 as of December 31.
Tyler must answer two primary questions in her campaign. The first is Shreveport's crime rate, which has increased, and the lack of economic development during her term.
On Tuesday, February 27, Adrian Perkins sent out an email soliciting funds for his mayoral campaign. He advised that he had talked to neighborhood association presidents, oil and gas business professionals, and education professionals on issues facing Shreveport’s next generation.
Perkins is a West Point graduate and a Harvard Law School student. Although he is a Captain Shreve graduate, he is a relative unknown to many politicos in Shreveport.
Despite his email soliciting funds, Perkins advises that he will not be making any official announcement on a mayoral campaign without substantial citizen support. Perkins may find that his connection with State Senator Greg Tarver (he is dating Tarver’s daughter) may be problematic to many voters.
Lee O. Savage has launched a Facebook page for his mayoral ambitions. Savage will have a formal announcement on April 28, and he is out and about in the community in an effect to gain visibility.
Savage, a white Republican, will be bucking the traditional wisdom that the days of white Shreveport mayor ended when Cedric Glover narrowly defeated Jerry Jones in the 2004 mayors race. His name recognition is also very low.
Savage may find his campaign ties to former Caddo Commissioner David Cox are not necessarily a plus for a city-wide campaign. And the same can be said about his posturing to be a political embassary for Elliott Stonecipher, a blogger with a penchant for conspiracy theories.
Another candidate who has been widely rumored to enter the race is Caddo Commissioner Steven Jackson. Jackson is in his first term on the Commission and served as the Commission president in 2017.
Jackson worked in the Glover’s mayorial administration and is the former mayor’s political protégé. Jackson is also closely aligned with former Shreveport Councilman Calvin Lester.
Jackson has been very critical of fellow commissioners who do not vote for his proposals. He is notoriously thin skinned and frequently calls out the media on reporting that he disagrees with. His association with Glover and Lester could be real negatives for him.
Former Shreveport Police Department homicide detective Rod Demery is being encouraged by many in both the black and white communities to enter this race. Demery currently works as the chief investigator for Caddo Parish District Attorney James Stewart.
Demery is widely respected in the law enforcement ranks. His TV series, “Murder Chose Me” ,is now in its second year. Demery is a rarity in Shreveport politics—a black Republican.
Demery’s record of service and his accomplishments in Shreveport are more than all of the other potential challengers combined. His current employment with the DA’s office is, however, definite limitation on any mayoral ambitions.
Tremecious Dixon is a latecomer to the mayoral candidate discussions . Dixon is a real estate developer who grew up on a north Caddo farm. He has little civic involvement. He says that he is considering a run for the Mayor’s office.
There’s no doubt that Tyler has a substantial advantage over any challengers. Only one Shreveport Mayor has lost a re-election bid since the mayor-council form of government started in 1979.
Tyler’s speaking tour touting the tax millages gives her the opportunity to brag about her record as Mayor. As evidenced by her 2017 campaign finance report, individuals and companies that make substantial dollars from city work will generously fund her campaign.