Talk about high political drama. The Caddo Parish GOP hosted the groups' regular monthly meeting and invited the 3 republican candidates for Shreveport Mayor to speak to the gathering.

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Local Attorney Tom Arceneaux, Caddo Parish Commissioner Mario Chavez and retired SPD officer Jim Taliaferro  spoke in that order to the conservative group gathered at Superior Bar and Grille.

Guests heard many of the same messages that we have to change the leadership in the city to make progress in the future. But things took a turn when Chavez stepped up to the mic.

The Republican Commissioner dropped the bomb on the group when he announced during his speech that he was resigning from the Republican party and would run as a "no-party" candidate for Mayor.

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Chavez added:

I feel in a divided city we need unity. I was re-elected in a district that is so diverse, my registered party held a mere 20% market share. I have come to a crossroads where if I am truly going to represent and reflect every citizen of Shreveport, then wearing the title of one party affiliation or another must end today. I feel the first conversation should never be what party are you, but what can I do for you?
Chavez also told the group of Republicans he hoped both Democrats and Republicans would do what is needed place the citizens of Shreveport above party.
Many in the audience were shocked by the announcement. Some questioned why Chavez would choose to make this announcement at the GOP luncheon, calling it a publicity stunt.
In the latest unscientific KEEL poll of announced candidates, Taliaferro pulls in 32% support to 27% for Chavez.  Retired SPD officer Tracy Mendels is at 16% with Arceneaux has 13% support. Incumbent Mayor Adrian Perkins pulls in 8% support with Darryl Ware at 3%.

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