Baton Rouge has one. So does Shreveport. But while New Orleans once had an almost entirely female city council, it has never had a woman mayor.

There have been candidates in the past, perhaps none who raised more hopes than then-state Sen. Paulette Irons, who started strong in her campaign to succeed Marc Morial 16 years ago before running into a raft of self-inflicted problems. Irons is now a Civil District Court judge.

Rivaling Irons in stature is one of the few official entrants into this year's race, City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell. And it turns out that she might not be the only strong female candidate in the field.

Municipal Court Judge Desiree Charbonnet, according to Gambit's Clancy DuBos, is also about to make her intentions known.

Because she's a sitting judge, Charbonnet can't be a candidate for a non-judicial office, and so far she's let supporters do the talking for her. But that will all change at midnight Friday, DuBos wrote, when her recently submitted resignation becomes official.

City council members have higher public profiles than judges, simply by virtue of the job description. Still, Charbonnet would enter the race with a prominent political name and a record of winning citywide elections.

And there's yet another well-known woman hanging on the sidelines who could decide to run too, state Sen. and Louisiana Democratic Party chair Karen Carter Peterson.

In this slow-to-grow field, that might be enough to constitute a quorum. And while it would present clear challenges to candidates aiming to carve out a distinct niche, for people who bemoan the fact that women have yet to break the city's highest glass ceiling, having more than one shot is surely good news.

Follow Stephanie Grace on Twitter, @stephgracela.