It's not so unusual for odd coalitions to form during election season, but the bizarre race for New Orleans coroner may set a new mark for strange bedfellows.
That it's a race at all — and the results from a new poll taken for The New Orleans Advocate and WWL-TV confirms that it is — is the big news here, given that only one of the two candidates on the ballot says he wants the job.
In an intriguing twist, new polling shows that one of the closest contests on the Oct. 14 ba…
To recap: Incumbent Jeffrey Rouse qualified for reelection, then changed his mind and basically declared his lone opponent, Dwight McKenna, the winner. But Rouse not only decided too late to allow his supporters to find their own candidate, he also acted after the deadline to get his name off the ballot. So while he says he's not a candidate, the law says he is.
So, apparently, do at least some of his constituents. The poll of 500 registered voters taken Sept. 25-27 gave McKenna the lead, but only by a 36 percent-30 percent margin.
What that 30 percent of the voters are saying is the real question. While there's no identifiable organized movement to push voters to cast their ballots for Rouse, there's certainly chatter from former supporters disappointed with the situation. For them, a vote for Rouse is essentially a vote for a new election, since he'd likely resign immediately — and a vote against simply handing the keys to the controversial McKenna, a surgeon, former school board member and perennial candidate who happens to have a tax evasion conviction on his record.
It's also likely that some of the voters in Rouse's camp are going by name recognition or like the job he's done, and don't realize that he tried to take himself out of the running.
McKenna is probably the frontrunner in Saturday's primary, given that he's a well-known figure and is the only one who's campaigning. But if Rouse does pull off a win, he'll presumably owe it to a truly weird partnership of people who understood just what they were voting for, and those who didn't.
Jeffrey Rouse served New Orleans well as coroner. During his single term in office, the psyc…