Attorney Mike Darnell, who served for several months on the New Orleans City Council in 2007 after At-Large Councilman Oliver Thomas resigned in a bribery scandal, confirmed to Gambit last week that he will run for the District 2 state Senate seat being vacated by two-term state Sen. Ann Duplessis. Darnell, whose law partner is state Sen. Ed Murray, was appointed interim council member in August 2007 after Thomas abruptly resigned. He served until At-Large Councilwoman Jackie Clarkson won a special election three months later. Before his brief stint on the council, Darnell served several years as a deputy city attorney and, in 2004, as an interim judge at Juvenile Court.
Duplessis is resigning her state Senate seat to become an aide to Mayor Mitch Landrieu. Qualifying for the special election to succeed Duplessis is July 7-9, and the primary is Oct. 2. A runoff, if needed, will be Nov. 2.
Others known to be looking at the race include former District E Councilwoman Cynthia Willard-Lewis, whose political career started in the state House of Representatives in 1993, and Orleans School Board member Ira Thomas, who won a school board seat less than two years ago. — Clancy DuBos