Nagin, Ray (Clarence Ray Nagin, Jr.), 1956–, African-American politician, b. New Orleans. A Louisiana cable-television executive before entering politics, Nagin won the 2002 mayoral election handily as a reform candidate, despite never before holding elective office. He came to wide public attention in 2005 when New Orleans was hit by catastrophic flooding in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Thousands of buildings were destroyed and hundreds died, and the mayor was widely criticized for the city's lack of a workable evacuation plan and his delay in ordering the city's mandatory evacuation. At the same time, he vociferously criticized state and federal officials for their slow and ineffective reaction to the crisis. Nagin was narrowly reelected in 2006.
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