Sharon Weston Broome

Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome speaks before members of the metropolitan council are sworn in, Saturday, January 2, 2021, at City Hall in Baton Rouge, La.

Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome on Monday announced she's throwing support behind Troy Carter in his runoff bid for the 2nd Congressional District seat against Karen Carter Peterson.

Broome, calling Carter a friend of “several decades,” said he most aligns with her vision of "peace, prosperity and progress" for East Baton Rouge Parish in the district formerly held by former U.S. Rep. Cedric Richmond, whom she characterized as a "friend for several years."

“I’m endorsing Troy because I believe he’ll continue the strong relationship that my office had with Rep. Richmond to deliver for East Baton Rouge Parish,” Broome said during a press conference alongside Carter in downtown Baton Rouge on Monday. “I know he has the ability to work across the aisle to solve the toughest issues and find the compromises that serve us all well.”

Getting Broome’s endorsement is something Baton Rouge pollster John Couvillon said Carter needed to improve his support in East Baton Rouge Parish, where he trailed the other two top candidates in Saturday’s primary.

Carter heads into the April 24 runoff after leading by 13 percentage points over Karen Carter Peterson in Saturday's primary. Carter amassed 36.3% of the votes to Peterson’s 22.9%, according to unofficial election results.

But political analysts have said she could defeated Carter in a head-to-head matchup due to her more progressive campaign, which aligns more with Gary Chambers Jr., the Baton Rouge activist who didn't trail far behind her in Saturday's primary with 21.3% for the 2nd Congressional District seat.

Peterson pulled the most support in the city-parish with 35%, Chambers came in close second with 33% and Carter trailed with 26% of the votes.

“He needs to improve his numbers in the parish,” Couvillon said. “Mayor Broome isn’t offensive to many people so it won’t hurt him (and) when you have these endorsements coming out early after the primary, it gives the perception that a candidate has runoff momentum.”

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The district, previously held by Richmond, is majority black and stretches from New Orleans through the west bank of Jefferson Parish and the River Parishes and north into Baton Rouge.

Chambers, as of Sunday, had not yet said who he intends to endorse in the upcoming runoff, a decision analysts have said could tip the scales in the favor for either candidate.

In her remarks Monday, Broome called Chambers a friend and Peterson a longtime colleague, which is why she delayed making any endorsements ahead of Saturday’s primary.

“I didn’t hastily come to a decision about who the best candidate was,” she said.

Broome said Carter’s legislative experience and mindset will inspire the unity needed among leadership to help the nation rebound after the turbulent year of the coronavirus pandemic.

Carter, 57, has campaigned on raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour but has spoken only generally about climate change, job creation and improving education.

Peterson, 51, is lobbying for Medicare for All, the Green New Deal and raising the minimum wage also.

Carter collected endorsements from many key local Democrat and Republican leaders while Peterson got backing from several other local Democrats as well including Metro Councilwoman Erika Green, Carolyn Coleman and State Rep. C. Denise Marcelle, D-Baton Rouge.


Email Terry Jones at tjones@theadvocate.com