New Orleans City Council District B candidate LaToya Cantrell received an endorsement from council president Stacy Head, who formerly represented the district. Head was joined by council members Kristin Gisleson Palmer and Cynthia Hedge-Morrell, as well as Mark Vicknair from the Alliance for Good Government, Sen. Ed Murray, D-New Orleans, and former District B candidate Eric Strachan at Midway Pizza on Freret Street this morning.
"It can be difficult to pass the torch to someone new," Head said. "But I have absolute confidence Latoya Cantrell is the right woman for this job." Head said she believes Cantrell can "recreate the success" of Freret and Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard projects with "thoughtful development and hard work," while fighting blight and spurring economic development.
"This is in the spirit of what we've been working toward," Cantrell said. "The spirit of collaboration, the spirit of getting things done for all people. ... It's about restoring the quality of life for residents who deserve nothing less." Cantrell added she wants to boost commercial corridors, increase mental health services and education. "We have to address the root of crime," she added. "Public safety is at the forefront."
Head told Gambit she would've endorsed Cantrell earlier in the race, but her former chief of staff, Strachan, was running, "and I adored him," she said. "She's a stalwart worker. ... She's the person I'd want representing me."
"I've known LaToya for a long time," Murray told Gambit. "It was an easy choice from the beginning."
"This is a defining moment (in the campaign)," Cantrell told Gambit. "It's building momentum. ... Having three sitting councilwomen here, that's important."
Cantrell's opponent, Dana Kaplan, has endorsements from Mayor Mitch Landrieu, Orleans Parish Sheriff Marlin Gusman and U.S. Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-New Orleans.