Mid South evacuees focus on New Orleans' mayoral race

The stakes are high for many new Mid-South neighbors as the New Orleans mayoral race presses forward.

8,000 evacuees still in the Memphis area, so Action News 5 invited a New Orleans family to the studio to watch the debate and share their reaction.

Hurricane evacuees Errol Johnson, Raven Ruth and their children watched the New Orleans mayoral debate with eagle eyes.

How to respond to another deadly storm was topic number one as preparation for the upcoming hurricane season is a priority for constituents. Johnson says he doesn't feel the candidates answered his concerns.

"They all seem to be focused on tourism. There's no tourism, there will be no support of tourism if you're not taking care of the people that live there," said Johnson.

"They didn't answer anything. They're talking about stuff prior to Katrina. That's in the past," said Ruth.

Memphis President of the Displaced Citizens of the Gulf Coast, Christa Hallman, says the election should be delayed. With New Orleans' population down by two thirds since the hurricanes and evacuees scattered in 44 states, she says voters cannot access the information they need.

"In order to have a say in their future, they need to have the correct information, the proper information from the candidates to be able to have an informed vote," Hallman said.

Early voting indicates the New Orleans' Mayoral race is heating up fast with 16,000 early votes already turned in. While some want to wait, others want to push ahead.

"They need fresh blood in there. Somebody who has never run for political office, someone whose father, mother, brother has never been in political office," said Ruth.

They hope to return home to New Orleans, and say the outcome of the mayoral election could influence their decision.

The Primary vote is Saturday April 22nd. Wednesday, April 19th is the deadline to apply for a displaced voter absentee ballot for the May 20th General Election.