Nagin, who lost most of his white voter support during the primary, regained enough some crossover votes to win with 52.3 percent votes.
The race was unusually polarized on racial lines with many evacuees casting absentee ballots from all over the country.
New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin speaks to supporters during a victory party in New Orleans on May 20. AP photo from Yahoo News.
In his victory speech, Nagin said it was time for New Orleans to begin "the healing process."
"It's time for us to stop the bickering," he said. "It's time for us to stop measuring things in black and white and yellow and Asian. It's time for us to be one New Orleans."
His opponent also called for unity among the people of the city.
The mayor now has four years to lead the rebuilding of New Orleans after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina.
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