Round Two For Cromer-Davis

As preparations begin for the April 28 runoffs, the mayoral race in Slidell is already drawing more attention than the usual municipal election.

Rep. Greg Cromer and Kevin Davis, the former St. Tammany parish president and one-time GOHSEP director under former Gov. Bobby Jindal, are locked in a head-to-head matchup for the city’s top job. Capitol observers are watching this one closely, as a victory by Cromer would prompt a special election in House District 90.

Davis finished first in the primary with 36 percent, but local politicos contend he underperformed in terms of his campaign’s own expectations. It remains to be seen if the anti-incumbent trend in St. Tammany or Davis’ ties to Jindal served as a drag on his bid. Cromer squeaked into the runoff by a mere 89 votes, edging out Bruce Clement, the former chief operating officer of Slidell Memorial Hospital.

Clement could possibly make an endorsement in the next few weeks. Local officials claimed that he would be more likely to support Cromer over Davis. The fourth place finisher, City Councilman Landon Cusimano, is expected to stay silent, but it’s said he does have a good relationship with Cromer. Davis has been endorsed by the Alliance for Good Government and the Greater New Orleans PAC, while Cromer has won the support of the Times-Pic and St. Tammany’s Republican Executive Committee.

Out on the stump, Davis has touted his political experience on the state and parish levels as assets, saying he could complete projects such as levees on Slidell’s south side, which have been prone to flooding. Cromer has been pushing his business experience and he’s promising to recruit industry and economic development to the city.

Davis has supposedly planned an ambitious TV buy, while Cromer’s camp is focusing on getting out more direct mail pieces and turning out voters in his legislative district. The race has stayed mostly positive and politicos are cautiously optimistic that the runoff won’t fall into the trend of negative, personal attacks that has marked the last few cycles in St. Tammany.

This story was originally published in LaPolitics Weekly on March 29, 2018. Wish you had read it then? Become a part of our elite community by subscribing today!

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