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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Nagin Narrowly Re-Elected as the Mayor of New Orleans

NEW ORLEANS -- Voters re-elected New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, the colorful leader whose blunt style endeared him to some but outraged others after Hurricane Katrina, giving him four more years to oversee one of the largest rebuilding projects in U.S. history.

"This is a great day for the city of New Orleans. This election is over, and it's time for this community to start the healing process," Nagin said Saturday in a joyful victory speech.

"It's time for us to stop the bickering," he said. "It's time for us to stop measuring things in black and white and yellow and Asian. It's time for us to be one New Orleans."

Nagin won with 52.3 percent, or 59,460 votes, to Lieutenant Governor Mitch Landrieu's 47.7 percent, or 54,131 votes. While the vote was split largely along racial lines, Nagin got enough of a crossover in predominantly white districts to make the difference.

Nagin, a former cable television executive elected to office in 2002, had argued the city could ill-afford to change course as rebuilding gathered steam.

His second term begins a day before the June 1 official start of the hurricane season in a city where streets are still strewn with rusting, mud-covered cars and entire neighborhoods consist of homes that are empty shells.

Nagin is known for his shoot-from-the-hip rhetoric. After Katrina plunged his city into chaos nine months ago, Nagin was both scorned and praised for a tearful plea for the federal government to "get off your asses and do something" and his remark that God intended New Orleans to be a "chocolate" city.

Fewer than half of New Orleans' 455,000 pre-Katrina residents are living in the city.