A sleepy second day of qualifying for this fall’s municipal elections in New Orleans saw just eight candidates, including one ultra-long shot for mayor, sign up.

Thursday’s lull was in contrast to Wednesday, when three dozen candidates signed up for 15 local races on the first day of the three-day qualifying period.

The first day of qualifying is typically the busiest, while the second is generally quiet and the third sometimes produces last-minute surprises.


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All the contenders will be competing in Oct. 14 primary elections. Runoffs, if needed, will be held Nov. 18.

Community activist and visual artist Charles Anderson, whose Tuesday rap video announcing his mayoral bid has drawn thousands of views online, on Thursday became the seventh official candidate for the city’s top political job.

After rapping a line from his video at an elections office staffer’s request — “I’m running for mayor, running, running for mayor,” Anderson said — the 35-year-old told a reporter he’s running solely to put the city’s CeaseFire initiative on the next mayor’s priority list.

That program, which began locally under Mitch Landrieu's administration, uses street outreach teams to try to resolve potentially violent conflicts before they escalate. Anderson said it was modeled on a group he helped start, Solutions Not Shootings.

“I wanted to make sure that CeaseFire not only is retained by the city through the NOLA For Life Campaign, but that it is expanded hopefully,” he said.

“Luckily, I had my man Joel here, who came up with a good marketing campaign,” he said, indicating Joel Carter, who stood next to him. Anderson wrote the words for his rap, and Carter put them to music, he said.

Businessman Frank Scurlock is expected to enter the mayoral field on Friday. And the wild card in the mayor's race, prominent businessman Sidney Torres IV, has said he might also show up Friday at the final hour.

Businessman Troy Henry, who ran and lost against Landrieu in 2010, also has said he is pondering a second run.

The three apparent front runners for mayor — former Civil District Court Judge Michael Bagneris, City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell and former Municipal Court Judge Desiree Charbonnet — all qualified Wednesday.

Rounding out the field for mayor are Byron Stephan Cole, son of the late community activist Dyan French “Mama D” Cole; executive coach Matthew Hill; and Johnese Smith.

Meanwhile, seven new contenders jumped into City Council races Thursday, including a former interim District E council member, lawyer Ernest “Freddie” Charbonnet, who is seeking his old seat.

Charbonnet, a second cousin of Desiree Charbonnet, temporarily replaced Jon Johnson in 2012 after the latter resigned. Johnson pleaded guilty that year to conspiring to funnel federal rebuilding money, which was intended for a nonprofit he owned, to his unsuccessful 2007 campaign for state Senate.

Ernest Charbonnet unsuccessfully sought an at-large seat once his District E term was up and later a Juvenile Court judgeship.

“It’s a crucial time,” he said Thursday. “We deserve better out there, we do.”

District E Councilman James Gray II, who qualified Wednesday for re-election, is seen by some political operatives as potentially vulnerable as he serves out a two-year suspension of his law license and faces a further suspension amid complaints from former clients.

Community activist Dawn Hebert, businesswoman Alicia Plummer Clivens and community leader Cyndi Nguyen are also in the running for District E.

Aylin Acikalin Maklansky, a former legislative director for District B Councilwoman Nadine Ramsey, signed up for District A on Thursday, as did Daniel “Dan” Ring, a food service industry distributor, and Toyia Washington-Kendrick, a charter school educator.

They join writer-editor Drew Ward, lawyer Joseph Giarrusso III and Tilman Hardy in the crowded District A field. Incumbent Susan Guidry is term-limited.

Timothy David Ray, a University of New Orleans adjunct professor and political organizer, officially entered the District B race, while Thad Cossabone, a receiving clerk at Target, qualified in District D.

Cossabone and activist Belden “Noonie Man” Batiste will vie to unseat Jared Brossett in D, while Ray, Jay Banks, Seth Bloom, Catherine Love and Andre “Action Andre” Strumer will try to replace Cantrell in B.

Brossett, Ramsey and Division 2 at-large Councilman Jason Williams are all running for re-election. Ramsey faces a challenge from former Councilwoman Kristin Gisleson Palmer, but Williams continued on Thursday to have no opposition.

Lawyer D. Nicole Sheppard, Thursday’s lone judicial qualifier, signed up against Omar Mason for the vacant Civil District Court Division J seat.

Follow Jessica Williams on Twitter, @jwilliamsNOLA​.