Kenner mayoral candidate Ben Zahn didn't win the endorsement that the Alliance for Good Government gave out before this month's five-candidate primary, but he has landed the group's backing for the Dec. 10 runoff against Gregory Carroll.

The Alliance's Jefferson Parish chapter endorsed Zahn — a Republican and parish councilman — following a forum Thursday night, for which Carroll did not appear.

Carroll, a Democrat and Kenner City Councilman, said he was unavailable for the forum due to a family emergency and because Thursday evening's council meeting let out later than expected, according to Jamie Beeson Balser, president of the Alliance's Jefferson chapter. Attempts to contact Carroll last week were unsuccessful.

Aside from being armed with the largest war chest in the race, Zahn has won most of the key endorsements in the mayoral race, though the one notable exception had been the Alliance's.

The Alliance in August endorsed Republican Kenner City Councilwoman Maria DeFrancesch, a former officer for the organization as well as a past winner of the group's Legislator of the Year award. However, DeFrancesch missed a spot in next month's runoff after finishing third in the primary, clearing the way for Zahn to win the Alliance's backing.

Zahn is favored in the runoff after finishing far ahead the rest of the field in the Nov. 8 primary with 49 percent of the 23,605 votes cast. Carroll qualified for the runoff with 22 percent of the vote, five points ahead of DeFrancesch.

Republican Kenner City Council member Keith Reynaud (11 percent) and civic activist Al Morella (1 percent) were the other candidates in the primary.

Zahn and Carroll are vying to complete the unexpired term of former Mayor Mike Yenni, who became Jefferson Parish president in January. The term ends in 2018.

Kenner Councilman Mike Sigur has been serving as the city's interim mayor.

Follow Ramon Antonio Vargas on Twitter, @RVargasAdvocate.

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