With all the talk of New Orleans electing a new mayor, a related story has flown somewhat under radar: The city is also getting a new city council.
Or maybe the best way to describe it is newish.
Just two of seven current council members were reelected Saturday, at-large member Jason Williams and District D councilman Jared Brossett. A third, District E's James Gray, faces a potentially challenging runoff after winning support from only 38 percent of his constituents.
Even with two races still to be decided, Saturday’s election already represents a shake-up o…
But although either four or five seats will change hands, that doesn't mean the council will be populated with unfamiliar faces.
The winner of the District C race, by a margin so tight that it spurred a recount, was Kristin Gisleson Palmer, who served on the council until she unexpectedly dropped her reelection bid four years ago. Saturday, she defeated the victor in the 2010 race, Nadine Ramsey.
The second at-large seat, being vacated by the term-limited Stacy Head, will now belong to Helena Moreno, a veteran legislator who once worked as a television news anchor.
District B, now represented by mayoral candidate LaToya Cantrell, will choose between two runoff candidates with deep political roots. The runoff contestants are former Orleans Parish School Board member Seth Bloom, and Jay Banks, a onetime council aide to Jim Singleton and Dorothy Mae Taylor.
As of now, the only political newcomer on the next council will be Joe Giarruso, elected easily to replace the term-limited Susan Guidry in District A, but even he hails from a prominent political family. Depending on the outcome of the runoff in District E, Gray challenger Cyndi Nguyen, a well-known community organizer in the district, could join him as a relatively fresh face.
So no matter how the last two races pan out, the theme of the new council could well be that the more things change, the more they stay the same.