Voters in House District 93 will go to the polls this Saturday (May 1) to elect a new state representative in what promises to be a low-turnout special election. The expected low turnout is a shame, because District 93 may well be the most economically important district in the state. It contains the port, the Louisiana Superdome and New Orleans Arena, the Union Passenger Terminal, the CBD and Warehouse District, most of the French Quarter and Treme, as well as most of the hospitality industry's top hotels and restaurants. It also includes parts of Esplanade Ridge, Mid-City, the Lower Garden District and Central City.
The District 93 seat became vacant earlier this year when then-state Rep. Karen Carter Peterson won a special election to the Louisiana Senate. Six candidates have qualified to succeed Peterson, and the field is one of the most impressive we have seen in a while. We believe the district will be well served no matter who wins, but in our view one candidate stands out: James Perry.
Perry recently impressed voters citywide when he ran for mayor in the Feb. 6 primary. Although he finished near the bottom of the field, he consistently distinguished himself by his candor, his independence, and the breadth and depth of his grasp of complex issues. A self-styled policy wonk, Perry was tapped by Mayor-elect Mitch Landrieu to serve as co-chair of his transition team's housing task force. Perry until recently led the Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center as its executive director, and he has made fighting blight a cornerstone of his campaign.
New Orleans already has a strong and diverse legislative delegation. We believe the addition of James Perry will give our delegation a deeper understanding of housing and blight issues as well as another intelligent and progressive voice on matters affecting the city and its recovery. We urge voters in House District 93 to go to the polls this Saturday — and to elect James Perry as their new state representative.