Elections

Thursday, June 22, 2017

The 2017 New Orleans mayoral race: A familiar but unique election scenario

Posted By on Thu, Jun 22, 2017 at 4:18 PM

Who's moving in next year?
  • Who's moving in next year?

No two elections are alike, but this year’s race for mayor of New Orleans reminds me (so far) of the 2002 mayor’s race. Ray Nagin won that contest, but don’t panic. I don’t see another Nagin in our future. What looks familiar is the slow pace at which the field is taking shape and the lack of a clear front runner, at least as this stage.

Now consider this factoid: the last three mayors didn’t announce their candidacies until shortly before qualifying. That’s what leads some to whisper that we haven’t yet heard the name of the next mayor.

Of course, two of those three late-entry candidates were named Morial and Landrieu. They didn’t need to start early. The third was Nagin, and he won mainly because the eventual front runner, then-state Sen. Paulette Irons, imploded in the final weeks.

I don’t see any of this year’s candidates imploding, but I do see other parallels between this year’s race and the one that gave us Nagin.

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Monday, June 19, 2017

After Wednesday's State of the City, ask questions of the mayor at forum

Posted By on Mon, Jun 19, 2017 at 11:05 AM

Mitch Landrieu. - CREATIVE COMMONS/NICK PRETE
  • CREATIVE COMMONS/NICK PRETE
  • Mitch Landrieu.

Mayor Mitch Landrieu will deliver his annual State of the City address Wednesday, but later that day he'll be taking questions at a forum hosted by the civic group Engage NOLA. The forum will be held at the New Orleans Jazz Market from 6:30 p.m.-8 p.m. on Wednesday, June 21.
Landrieu is nearing the end of his mayoralty, and the event, according to organizers, will be "about the legacy of his administration, its accomplishments and work left undone, and what community members should consider in evaluating the candidates vying to fill his shoes and tackle the City’s endemic problems."

It's not a totally open forum — the event page promises "a facilitated discussion where participants may submit questions which will be vetted by event volunteers." WWL-TV's Sheba Turk will moderate. Admission is free with RSVP.

Engage NOLA will hold "networking hours" in the bar before and after the event (5:30 p.m.- 6:30 p.m. and 8 p.m.-9 p.m.)
Location Details Peoples Health New Orleans Jazz Market
1436 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd.
Central City
New Orleans, LA
(504) 371-5849
Bar

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Saturday, June 17, 2017

New Orleans mayoral candidates Bagneris and Cantrell discuss minimum wage, law enforcement

Posted By on Sat, Jun 17, 2017 at 3:35 PM

LaToya Cantrell and Michael Bagneris fielded questions from progressive group Indivisible NOLA.
  • LaToya Cantrell and Michael Bagneris fielded questions from progressive group Indivisible NOLA.

New Orleans mayoral candidates Michael Bagneris and LaToya Cantrell found a lot of common ground at a forum hosted by progressive group Indivisible NOLA, broadly covering wage inequity, immigration, racial justice, homelessness, substance abuse and mental health services, among other issues. Another announced candidate, Civil District Court Judge Desiree Charbonnet, also was invited to the forum but had to drop out due to a scheduling conflict. But the invitation-only event was this year's candidates' first large public introductions before qualifying begins.

Candidates sat in front of an orange Black Lives Matter banner at First Unitarian Universalist Church at Jefferson and Claiborne avenues June 17, fielding questions from event moderators, Indivisible members and members of the roughly 300 people in attendance.

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Friday, June 16, 2017

Mayoral candidate Scurlock decries Indivisible NOLA for 'reverse racism'

Posted By on Fri, Jun 16, 2017 at 2:00 PM

Frank Scurlock, mayoral candidate. - FACEBOOK/FRANK SCURLOCK
  • FACEBOOK/FRANK SCURLOCK
  • Frank Scurlock, mayoral candidate.

Mayoral candidate Frank Scurlock, who was excluded from tomorrow's town hall forum for declared mayoral candidates hosted by Indivisible NOLA, has accused organizers of "reverse racism" for not inviting him to the event. (Scurlock is white; the invited candidates, Michael Bagneris, LaToya Cantrell and Desiree Charbonnet, all are black.)

"Are the Indivisible New Orleans decision-makers petty elitists and snobs?" Scurlock said in a statement. "Their action smacks of the worst kind of reverse racism and will only further divide New Orleans voters."

Indivisible NOLA founder Joyce Vansean responded, "We as an organization do not believe that reverse racism exists."

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Thursday, June 15, 2017

Charbonnet drops out of Saturday mayoral candidate forum; WHIV-FM will broadcast

Posted By on Thu, Jun 15, 2017 at 3:38 PM

Declared mayoral candidates Michael Bagneris and LaToya Cantrell will attend the first mayoral forum of the election Saturday morning. Desiree Charbonnet (right), who originally had committed to the forum, will not be attending, citing scheduling conflicts.
  • Declared mayoral candidates Michael Bagneris and LaToya Cantrell will attend the first mayoral forum of the election Saturday morning. Desiree Charbonnet (right), who originally had committed to the forum, will not be attending, citing scheduling conflicts.

The first forum of the 2017 mayoral race, set for Saturday morning at the First Unitarian Universalist Church of New Orleans, has lost one of its participants: Former Municipal Court Judge Desiree Charbonnet, who originally had confirmed her attendance, now has backed out, citing a scheduling conflict.

In a note, Charbonnet said she inadvertently had been "double-booked" and will be in Washington, D.C. this weekend. That leaves two candidates with confirmed attendance: former Civil District Judge Michael Bagneris and District B Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell.

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Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Mayoral candidate Cantrell launches 'LaToya Listens' campaign tonight

Posted By on Tue, Jun 13, 2017 at 1:31 PM

LaToya Cantrell.
  • LaToya Cantrell.
LaToya Cantrell, the District B City Councilwoman who was one of the earliest entrants in the mayoral race, tonight will begin a 12-night, 12-stop "LaToya Listens" tour in 12 city neighborhoods. The first stop is in her home of Broadmoor.

In a statement, Cantrell said, “If we are to move past a tale of two cities, we need to meet the people where they are. Every New Orleans neighborhood has engaged and concerned residents, and we have to listen to them. As mayor, I will always be out listening to the people and connecting citizens to their government.”

Cantrell is one of four announced candidates in a race that was expected to be much more heaty by this time; qualifying is just a month away. Besides Cantrell, the other announced candidates former Civil District Judge Michael Bagneris, former Municipal Court Judge Desiree Charbonnet, and businessman Frank Scurlock.

Below the jump: Cantrell's schedule:

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Friday, June 9, 2017

City Hall launches online voting for bike share locations

Posted By on Fri, Jun 9, 2017 at 2:18 PM

Mayor Mitch Landrieu and New Orleans City Councilman Jason Williams demonstrate bikesharing during the city's pilot program. - ALEX WOODWARD
  • ALEX WOODWARD
  • Mayor Mitch Landrieu and New Orleans City Councilman Jason Williams demonstrate bikesharing during the city's pilot program.

New Orleans' bike share program officially will begin in October with Social Bicycles Inc., and the city now is asking residents to vote on where they'd like to see the first round of bike stations.

Phase I of the bike share stations will involve installing 70 stations in these neighborhoods.
  • Phase I of the bike share stations will involve installing 70 stations in these neighborhoods.
Phase I of the program will involve installing 70 bike share stations on the East Bank of New Orleans, in a number of neighborhoods concentrated around downtown, Faubourg Marigny/Bywater, the Garden District and Mid-City (see map). Each bike share station, the city says, is 6 feet wide and between 20 to 50 feet long (the size of one to three parking spaces).

The city requires a Facebook, Twitter or Google Plus account to log in and vote. Balloting ends June 18.

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Thursday, June 1, 2017

New Orleans mayoral hopefuls commit to town hall June 17

Posted By on Thu, Jun 1, 2017 at 4:26 PM

From left: Michael Bagneris, LaToya Cantrell and Desiree Charbonnet.
  • From left: Michael Bagneris, LaToya Cantrell and Desiree Charbonnet.

Three of the major announced candidates for mayor — Michael Bagneris, LaToya Cantrell and Desiree Charbonnet — have committed to a town hall June 17 hosted by the group Indivisible NOLA. The town hall will focus on three municipal topics selected by Indivisible NOLA, with questioners on each topic drawn by lot. The event takes place at the First Unitarian Universalist Church of New Orleans (2903 Jefferson Ave.) and begins at 10:30 a.m. (doors will open at 10 a.m.). It’s open to the public, but seating is limited and is strictly first-come first-serve. A Facebook page for the event is here.

Qualifying for the New Orleans mayoral race will take place July 12-14. The primary will be held Oct. 14, with a runoff (if necessary) Nov. 18.

Location Details First Unitarian Universalist Church of New Orleans
2903 Jefferson Ave.
Uptown
New Orleans, LA
(504) 866-9010
Church

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Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Desiree Charbonnet plans 'important announcement' Mon. May 22

Posted By on Tue, May 16, 2017 at 3:17 PM

Desiree Charbonnet.
  • Desiree Charbonnet.

Former Municipal Court Judge Desiree Charbonnet, who stepped down from her judgeship last month in what was seen as preamble to joining the New Orleans mayor's race, has invited supporters to "an important announcement" May 22 at the Sheraton Hotel New Orleans.

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Friday, May 12, 2017

SMOR poll: no easy answers

Posted By on Fri, May 12, 2017 at 4:20 PM

Gov. John Bel Edwards out-polls President Donald Trump in a recent survey. - PHOTO BY CHERYL GERBER
  • PHOTO BY CHERYL GERBER
  • Gov. John Bel Edwards out-polls President Donald Trump in a recent survey.

The annual spring survey of Louisiana voters by Southern Media and Opinion Research (SMOR) has mixed news for our state’s politicians. That shouldn’t surprise, given the mixed signals coming out of Baton Rouge.

The bad news for all elected officials is a majority of the state’s voters (52 percent) think Louisiana is going down the tubes, or, as pollsters call it, “headed in the wrong direction.” Roughly 32 percent believe we’re headed in the right direction, while 16 percent don’t know where we’re headed. Considering state lawmakers currently are vexed over how to solve a massive budget problem, the latter group actually may have got it right.

The good news for Gov. John Bel Edwards is he continues to get positive reviews overall despite voters’ gloomy outlook for the state. The bad news for him is that his numbers have slipped since just last autumn. His latest “job performance” ratings show him with an overall 53.8 percent “positive” rating compared to a 42 percent “negative” rating.

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