Returns show New Orleans Mayor Landrieu with lead

By By KEVIN McGILL

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Early election returns in New Orleans show Mayor Mitch Landrieu with a strong lead over two opponents.

Landrieu went into Saturday's election touting a drop in the city's murder rate and an endorsement from President Barack Obama. With 54 out of 366 precincts reporting, Landrieu had 60 percent of the vote.

The city's beleaguered sheriff, Marlin Gusman, also had the lead over three opponents. Gusman came under fire last year for problems at the city jail, including violence, drug use and escapes. The question was whether he would get a majority or face a runoff against former Sheriff Charles Foti (FOH'-tee).

Gusman had 49 percent of the vote, with 54 precincts reporting.

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