Frustrated by term-limited Mayor Ray Nagin's leadership of New Orleans since Hurricane Katrina, voters elected Louisiana Lt. Gov. Mitch Landrieu to succeed him last night, turning to a political scion to speed up the city's recovery. Landrieu, 49, became the majority-black city's first white mayor since 1978, the year his father, Moon, left the office. The mayor-elect, a moderate Democrat, won in a landslide over a field of 10 opponents in a campaign that competed with Mardi Gras and the Saints' appearance in the Super Bowl.
Landrieu's victory party was a nod to both: the ballroom of a the Roosevelt hotel—recently reopened after a post-Katrina restoration—was festooned with Saints-themed black and gold balloons. A roving brass band played Mardi Gras tunes and he prefaced his victory speech by leading the crowd in the Saints' "Who Dat" cheer. "We're all going together and we're not leaving anybody behind," he shouted to a jubilant crowd as family members, including his father and sister, Sen. Mary Landrieu, stood beside him.