Thursday, 23 January, 2020


First woman elected mayor of New Orleans in almost 300 years

New Orleans mayoral candidate La Toya Cantrell listens to donors at the home of Robert Ripley in New Orleans on Sept. 22 2017. Sophia Germer  The Advocate Via AP File First woman elected mayor of New Orleans in almost 300 years
Bennie Garza | 19 November, 2017, 08:06

History was made Saturday (Nov. 18) when New Orleans voters chose City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell as the city's first female mayor.

It's Election Day in Louisiana and one of the closely watched races is that of who will be New Orleans' next mayor.

Cantrell opened a wide lead over former municipal Judge Desiree Charbonnet and maintained that lead as votes were counted into Saturday night. "She succeeds former Mayor Mitch Landrieu".

Although she got a slow start raising money and meeting other traditional campaign benchmarks, Cantrell harnessed grassroots enthusiasm and stayed above the fray while her primary opponents attacked one another.

Cantrell's grass-roots, populist campaign proved more effective than Charbonnet's more polished-appearing effort.

FILE - In this September 22, 2017 file photo, New Orleans mayoral candidate LaToya Cantrell listens to donors at the home of Robert Ripley in New Orleans.

Yet it's worth taking a moment, as Cantrell and the city enter this new phase, to remember how far she came to get here.

Cantrell is married to New Orleans attorney Jason Cantrell.

Landrieu has gained credit for accelerating the recovery from Hurricane Katrina in an administration that can take credit for reduced blight, improvements in its celebrated tourism economy and economic development that included last week's announcement that a digital services company is bringing 2,000 new jobs to the city.

She's widely known for spearheading the movement to ban smoking in New Orleans bars and casinos.

Cantrell takes office in May.

It's a fight that their new mayor knows all too well.

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