IWO holds Democratic candidate forum, makes endorsements in Feb. 1 municipal race


The first of several electoral forums was held last night by the Independent Women’s Organization (IWO), a group of Democratic women, and the group’s endorsements passed over a couple of longtime New Orleans City Council members in favor of new faces.

Council president Jackie Clarkson, who is term-limited out of an at-large position and is running to recapture her District C seat, was nosed out for the endorsement by challenger Nadine Ramsey, while vice president Stacy Head, who is running to keep her at-large seat, was passed over in favor of Eugene Green. James Gray, the incumbent District E councilman, was endorsed by the IWO over Cynthia Willard-Lewis, who is trying to recapture her former District E seat. Susan Guidry, the District A incumbent, got the IWO endorsement. (Drew Ward, the sole Republican in the race, contacted Gambit after the event, saying that he had been excluded and would have participated if the IWO had invited him.)

The IWO split its endorsement in several races, including those of mayor (Michael Bagneris and incumbent Mitch Landrieu), coroner (Dwight McKenna and Jeffrey Rouse) and the council at-large Division 2 seat (Cynthia Hedge-Morrell and Jason Williams). The IWO made no endorsement in the District B race; incumbent LaToya Cantrell is running unopposed.

A forum for the council races will be held at Dillard University tonight by the League of Women Voters and the Urban League; it begins at 6 p.m. and is open to the public. The same groups will hold a mayoral forum Jan. 16 at Dillard.

Meanwhile, the Alliance for Good Government has several forums coming up at Loyola University: Jan. 9 will feature the candidates for Mayor and Council Districts C and E; Jan. 14 will feature candidates for Sheriff, Coroner, Clerk of Court and Council District D; and Jan. 15 will feature candidates for Council District A and the two at-large Council seats. All forums begin at 6:30 p.m. and are open to the public.

Gambit will be livetweeting all these forums at @The_GambitLIVE.

Under the jump: the slate of endorsements by the IWO:

•  Coroner (dual endorsement) -Dwight McKenna and Jeffrey Rouse
•  Mayor - (dual endorsement) - Michael Bagneris and Mitch Landrieu
•  City Council District A - Susan Guidry
•  City Council District C - Nadine Ramsey
•  City Council District D - Jared Brossett
•  City Council District E - James Gray
•  City Council At Large Division 1 - Eugene Green
•  City Council At Large Division 2 - (dual endorsement) Cynthia Hedge-Morrell and Jason Williams
•  Sheriff - Marlin Gusman
•  Clerk of Criminal District Court - Arthur Morrell

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