Michael Bagneris has officially announced he candidacy for mayor of New Orleans. The former judge and past chief of judge of the Orleans Parish Civil District Court made the announcement at a gathering of friends and supporters at Dooky Chase restaurant Thursday (May 11) evening.

Bagneris, who ran in 2014 and came in second in a three-man race, say is he running so that he can help solve the city’s challenges.

“The soul of New Orleans is its people,” Bagneris said in a printed statement. “And, we have problems it is time to solve. Our children are leaving in droves because there is no opportunity here.  Tourism is primarily a low wage industry.  We should not allow ourselves to be a one-trick pony.  This City has been blessed with too many resources to depend simply on tourism.

Bagneris has a long history of public service. In addition to serving as a judge for 20 years, he served as executive council to Mayor Dutch Morial from 1980 to 1986.

A graduate of St. Augustine High School, he earned a bachelor’s degree from Yale University and his juris doctorate from Tulane University Law School.