Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program




Major Professor

Hirsch, Arnold R.

Second Advisor

Cassimere, Raphael

Third Advisor

Powers, Madelon M.


This study examines the impact of racial politics on the New Orleans mayoral election of 1982. Ernest "Dutch" Morial, the city's first black mayor, sought re-election against a popular white candidate, Ron Faucheux, and a well-liked black candidate, William Jefferson. Race played an integral role throughout the campaign as Morial continually battled attacks from both the conservative white community and the traditional black politicians, all of whom resented the oftentimes brash mayor and his push for change. Controversy also surrounded his handling of the police strike of 1979 and the Fischer Housing Project shootings of 1980. This study argues that despite these obstacles, Ernest "Dutch" Morial was able to win a second term in 1982 by appealing to a broad racial coalition of voters who approved of his vigorous efforts to apply the ideals of the Civil Rights Movement to municipal reform in New Orleans.


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