Cantrell, Charbonnet head for mayoral runoff; all but two New Orleans City Council races settled tonight

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LaToya Cantrell (left) and Desiree Charbonnet, who will be advancing to a Nov. 18 runoff for the New Orleans mayoralty, addressing supporters at their election night parties.
  • LaToya Cantrell (left) and Desiree Charbonnet, who will be advancing to a Nov. 18 runoff for the New Orleans mayoralty, addressing supporters at their election night parties.

LaToya Cantrell and Desiree Charbonnet are headed to a Nov. 18 runoff to determine which candidate will become the first woman mayor in New Orleans history.

Charbonnet, a Gentilly native and former municipal court judge, received 30 percent of the vote and celebrated with a party at the New Orleans Hilton Riverside, with longtime allies former Mayor Sidney Barthelemy and Constable Lambert Boissiere in the crowd, along with District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro, who came out early for Charbonnet's candidacy. Also giving interviews was U.S. Rep. Cedric Richmond, another Charbonnet supporter.

"We have taken lots of fire, lots of hard, hard hits," she said, referring to two anti-Charbonnet campaigns that were active in recent weeks. "They tried to threaten us and even smear us with those old stereotypes. We refused to be bullied or accept the status quo."

Cantrell, the current District B Councilwoman who received 39 percent of the vote, celebrated with a party at the New Orleans Jazz Market, the site of her original campaign announcement, As a DJ spun celebratory funk from Kool and the Gang and McFadden and Whitehead, the crowd at the New Orleans Jazz Market danced while watching poll results roll out on local news and cheering as Cantrell's numbers ticked up.

Following a lively gospel choir and band, Cantrell stood behind the podium onstage, surrounded by family and supporters and facing a crowd chanting "give 'em hell, Cantrell." Among the crowd onstage were state Sen. Karen Carter Peterson, state Rep. Neil Abramson and outgoing District A Councilmember Susan Guidry

Cantrell stressed the importance of inclusion in her campaign and how residents and neighborhoods feel left out of the city's disproportionate growth and progress. "We've been listening," she said.

'We tell them we're world class. And we know that. But each and every one of our residents needs to feel that they're world class," she said. "That's what this campaign has always been about, and will be about, when we deliver real results for the entire city of New Orleans."

Cantrell told Gambit she'll extend her campaign's themes of inclusion in the coming weeks of campaigning. "The next few weeks is just being on the ground, touching people, expanding that scope of inclusion, building more partnerships, building those bridges, getting folks who weren't for me to understand I'm for them," Cantrell told Gambit. "That's going to be my focus. I'm for them."
Michael Bagneris and his wife Madlyn thanked supporters at his election night party. - PHOTO BY KAT STROMQUIST
  • PHOTO BY KAT STROMQUIST
  • Michael Bagneris and his wife Madlyn thanked supporters at his election night party.

Former Civil District Court Judge Michael Bagneris, who came in third with 19 percent of the vote, held his party in the Magnolia Ballroom at Westin New Orleans Canal Place. Bagneris arrived around 10 p.m. to deliver remarks alongside his wife, Madlyn. He spoke briefly to thank supporters, and said he already had called Cantrell to offer congratulations. “If it depended upon work ethic, I’d be president. I truly, truly appreciate everything everyone has done,” he said.

Bagneris told Gambit he thought it was too early to direct his supporters to one candidate in the runoff. Would he run again for office?

"I think I can unequivocally say 'no,'" Bagneris said.

In the New Orleans City Council races, only two seats will go to a runoff. Incumbent Jason Williams easily fought off contenders David Baird, Aaron "Ace" Christopher, Jason Coleman and David Gregory Nowak for the At-Large B seat. Williams received 73 percent of the vote.

State Rep. Helena Moreno garnered 66 percent of the vote and avoided a potentially bruising runoff in the At-Large A race, defeating fellow state Rep. Joe Bouie and Kenneth Cutno.

In District A, Joe Giarrusso, with 65 percent of the vote, was declared the winner of a six-person field that included Aylin Acikalin Maklansky, a former top aide to District C Councilwoman Nadine Ramsey.

The District C race between incumbent Nadine Ramsey and former District C councilwoman Kristin Gisleson Palmer was the real nailbiter in the last days of the election, and it was the closest race of the night. Palmer edged out Ramsey by only 112 votes — Palmer received 6,961, Ramsey 6,849.

In District D, incumbent Jared Brossett easily won reelection over Joel Jackson and Thad Cassabone with 80 percent of the vote.

Runoffs will take place for the District B and District E seats. In District B, Seth Bloom and Jay Banks are headed for a rematch. Bloom received 40 percent of the vote; Banks, 27 percent. In District E, incumbent James Gray will face challenger Cyndi Nguyen on the Nov. 18 ballot. Gray received 38 percent of the vote to Nguyen's 26 percent.

In Jefferson Parish, Kenner city councilman Dominick Impastato easily beat state Sen. Danny Martiny for the District 4 seat on the Jefferson Parish council with 57 percent of the vote.

Dr. Dwight McKenna was elected New Orleans coroner in a bizarre race where the challenger, incumbent Dr. Jeffrey Rouse, decided he no longer wanted to run after it was too late to take his name off the ballot. Rouse still received 40 percent of the vote to McKenna's 60 percent.

And in the statewide treasurer's race, state Rep. John Schroder, a Republican, will face off against Democrat Derrick Edwards. Schroder received 43 percent of the vote to Edwards' 22 percent.


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