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Karen Carter Peterson at home in New Orleans on Wednesday, March 3, 2021.

Several women community leaders on Saturday endorsed state Sen. Karen Carter Peterson’s candidacy for the 2nd Congressional District.

“We need a real change in how our district is represented, not a new person speaking with the same old voice. Karen is that change,” said Linda Kocher, who filed a lawsuit to stop a campaign commercial that falsely claimed Gov. John Bel Edwards had enriched an Army pal.

“She responds to her constituents,” said Madalyn Schenk, a longtime New Orleans advocate for progressive causes. “She's represented me for 21 years in the Louisiana legislature, and she has always been there to answer my call and take action for our community."

Peterson, a former executive in the national Democratic Party hierarchy, also received the backing of plethora of national names backing her candidacy, including voting rights advocate Staci Abrams; former Democratic National Committee Chair Donna Brazile, who is well-known political commentator; former Democratic National Committee Chair and former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, a one-time leading presidential contender; and the former Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez.

She also received a baker’s dozen of Democratic Parish Executive Committee members in the 2nd Congressional district.

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“She recognizes the challenges ahead and has the experience, dedication, and courage to fight for all of Louisiana in Congress,” said Alsie Dunbar, a DPEC member from Gonzales and a founder of the THE STEMS GEMS Mentoring Project that has helped 300 girls in conjunction with the Ascension Parish School Board.

Peterson is one of eight Democratic candidates, along with four Republicans, a Libertarian, an independent, one without party affiliation – 15 in all – running to replace Cedric Richmond, who took a job advising President Joe Biden in the White House.

Early voting began Saturday and continues until next Saturday, March 13.

Election day is Saturday, March 20. The 2nd District is Louisiana’s only minority majority district and stretches from New Orleans up the Mississippi River parishes into north Baton Rouge.