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Baton Rouge mayoral race already taking shape

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BATON ROUGE - In the Baton Rouge mayoral race, potential candidates have until July to make their decision. But three people have already made it so far.

Mayor Sharon Weston Broome, local business owner Jordan Piazza, and former councilman Byron Sharper have all said they're running. 

"My prayers and dreams are to become mayor-president of East Baton Rouge Parish," Sharper said in a video posted to his Facebook page. "So I humbly ask for your prayers and support."

Sharper ran in 2016 and was behind the recall petition against councilwoman Tara Wicker last year, which was never submitted. 

At Press Club Monday, many expected Wicker to officially throw her hat in the ring. But that announcement did not come.

"I've been asked that question about 100 million times. We will have some conversations. I'm talking to my family and others. Again, my focus is making sure we complete the work being done in District 10. So within the next few months or so we'll have some conversations about my future political aspirations," Wicker said. 

If Wicker does decide to run, her tenets of combating blight and community policing would likely become part of her policy. She spoke about both issues at length at the press club. 

"Right now, our blight department,  we don't have enough blight officers. 3-1-1 requests, we're two years in the hole.  So while I think there are some things that are moving. There's a ton of work that needs to be done."

Other potential candidates include State Representative C. Denise Marcelle and Councilman Matt Watson. Watson said he isn't ready to make an official announcement but said, "obviously, we need change in our community."

Qualifying for the race begins July 15. The election will be Nov. 3. 

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