This afternoon's news that Orleans Civil Court Judge Michael Bagneris is stepping down to run for mayor was the most exciting development in the first day of qualifying for the Feb. 1, 2014 municipal election. Bagneris did not file paperwork today, but he has two more days to file before the Friday afternoon deadline — as do other candidates.
Under the jump, the tally on the first day of qualifying:
: Incumbent Mitch Landrieu qualified Dec. 11, as did Danatus King, president of the New Orleans branch of the NAACP. King sent out a press release Dec. 10 saying, “Contrary to recent media reports, Danatus N. King does have $750.00 to pay the fee to qualify to be a candidate for mayor of the City of New Orleans,” and denouncing “the Tea Party voter suppression tactics that have been used this early in the race.” King seemed to be referring to a Times-Picayune
report which noted that his campaign filings didn’t indicate he’d raised $750. Late in the day, Civil Court Judge Michael Bagneris announced he was resigning his judgeship to jump into the mayor’s race, though he has not officially filed paperwork and paid the fee.
• Council District A
: Incumbent Susan Guidry will face Drew Ward, who is the only Republican in any of the council races (all the rest are Democrats).
• Council District B
: Incumbent LaToya Cantrell filed for re-election. No opponents as of today, making the District B race the only one with only one candidate — so far.
• Council District C
: Council President Jackie Clarkson, term-limited out of an at-large position, will be attempting her third run as District C councilwoman. She got into the race at the urging of Landrieu when incumbent Kristin Gisleson Palmer opted not to run. Former judge Nadine Ramsey, who ran for mayor in 2010, had announced earlier.
• Council District D
: Cynthia Hedge-Morrell is term-limited out of this seat. State Rep. Jared Brossett announced early, and has drawn the support of Landrieu. Joseph Bouie, the former chancellor of Southern University New Orleans, is also running.
• Council District E
: Incumbent James Gray is seeking a second term on the council. His major challenger is Cynthia Willard-Lewis, a former District E representative and former state Senator and state House member. Willard-Lewis is scheduled to hold her announcement party Dec. 12, but she will not have the support of her longtime ally Landrieu, who told Gambit
yesterday he was endorsing Gray in the race. Clarkson, who is endorsing all other incumbents in the council races, is remaining neutral on this one.
• Council At-Large Division 1
: Incumbent Stacy Head will face Eugene Green, who worked in former Mayor Marc Morial’s administation.
• Council At-Large Division 2
: Hedge-Morrell is running for Clarkson’s old seat against defense attorney Jason Williams and Ernest “Freddie” Charbonnet.
: Incumbent Orleans Parish Sheriff Marlin Gusman will face off against former Sheriff Charles Foti; Ira Thomas, president of the Orleans Parish School Board; and Quentin Brown, who ran for Council District B in 2006.
: Erroll Williams, who became New Orleans’ first single assessor when he took office in 2011, is seeking re-election.
: Incumbent Frank Minyard will once again face perennial candidate Dwight McKenna. The two men faced off in 2010, and McKenna produced one of the all-time memorable New Orleans TV political ads, portraying Minyard as a Dr. Frankenstein (complete with political consultant Bill Schultz as Igor) whom, the ad claimed, sold body parts out of the coroner’s office. Also qualifying: Vincent A. Culotta Jr. and Jeffrey Rouse.
• Clerk of Criminal District Court
: Current Clerk Arthur Morrell filed for re-election. No opponents as of today.
• Clerk of Civil District Court
: Current Clerk Dale Atkins filed for re-election. No opponents as of today.