Second-term state Rep. Jared Brossett on Saturday won the District D council seat that includes many of the same neighborhods as his Gentilly-based legislative district, avoiding a runoff by garnering just more than half the vote.
With all districts reporting, Brossett finished with about 50.2 percent of the vote, according to preliminary figures from the secretary of state’s office. Joseph Bouie Jr., a longtime Southern University at New Orleans professor and administrator, had about 41.7 percent.
Community organizer Dalton Savwoir Jr. finished a distant third, with about 8.1 percent of the vote.
Brossett got started in politics a decade ago, working as a college intern for Marlin Gusman when Gusman held the District D seat. Brossett stayed on in the council office after Gusman became Orleans Parish sheriff and Cynthia Hedge-Morrell was elected to the seat in a 2005 special election. He served as a legislative aide and later as her chief of staff before successfully running in 2009 for the District 97 seat in the state House of Representatives — a seat that was held by her son, J.P. Morrell, before he moved on to the state Senate.
Brossett studied political science at Xavier University, with an eye toward working in government, possibly heading up a public agency at some point.
His legislative accomplishments include winning passage of bills allowing property owners in Orleans Parish to permanently register for the homestead exemption, changing the makeup of the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts’ board and allowing high school students from across Louisiana to enroll at the school, and toughening penalties on “home invasion” laws against violators who carry dangerous weapons.
“As a representative, I tried to not only assist in pushing legislation that impacts my district, but the city and the state as a whole,” he said during an interview last month.
Brossett has said that he wants to bolster the Police Department’s depleted ranks. The department has dropped from 1,540 officers in 2010 to fewer than 1,200 today.
“We have to stop the bleeding of our police officers,” Brossett said during the interview. “We need to talk about incentives, and competitive pay. It’s obvious our officers are leaving for a reason, and I think it’s better pay in other areas, in other municipalities across the country.”