UNO Political Science Professor Ed Chervenak says he wouldn't be surprised to see the runoff between Marlin Gusman and Charles Foti in the Orleans Parish Sheriff's race turn negative.
Chervenak says Gusman, the incumbent, has the advantage because he finished first with 49% of the votes cast on Saturday and needs just a little bump up in the vote to win. Foti finished a distant second with 29% of the vote and faces an uphill battle to win the runoff.
Given that scenario, Chervenak says most campaign consultants would probably advise Foti to go negative.
"The reason you typically go negative is you want to reduce your opponent's support. You want to put out negative information about your opponent so that their supporters won't show up at the polls," Chervenak said.
While Chervenak gives Gusman the advantage over Foti, it's a different story in the District "C" Council runoff between Jackie Clarkson and Nadine Ramsey. The two finished in a virtual dead heat Saturday, with Clarkson finishing first with just a 24-vote lead over Ramsey in the 5-candidate race.
Chervenak says the race is so close it's hard to give either one an advantage over the other, but he doesn't see the campaign turning negative.
"I think that they both want to communicate their qualifications and experience rather than tearing each other down," Chervenak said.