It’s another Election Day in Louisiana, with regular contests scheduled in October postponed due to the ravages of Hurricane Ida. On ballots locally are primary elections for municipal offices in New Orleans plus four statewide constitutional amendments.
In New Orleans, here are the Times-Picayune’s recommendations:
For mayor: LaToya Cantrell
It is the lot of all New Orleans mayors to inherit problems decades in the making, and LaToya Cantrell is no exception. She came into office facing chronic infrastructure woes and large areas of dysfunction even after Mitch Landrieu’s generally successful two-term run. Then came a cyberattack and a global pandemic.
Through it all, the word that best describes Cantrell’s leadership is “tough.”
Facing an early surge of COVID-19, the mayor put residents’ health first, even if it meant inviting criticism for restrictions that generally outpaced the state’s. Her approach was vindicated by a hard-earned drop in cases, which we believe saved lives and will put New Orleans on track to economic recovery.
Cantrell also spent her political capital on other difficult fights, such as when she took on tourism interests to extract more revenue for infrastructure, including the perennially problematic Sewerage & Water Board. We appreciate that the mayor has focused on finally paying city workers a living wage, and has budgeted conservatively and with an eye toward the future.
The fact that Cantrell didn’t attract serious opposition is telling. It seems most New Orleanians want her to finish the job she’s started. We agree.
For City Council at-large: Helena Moreno and JP Morrell
During her first term, Helena Moreno established herself as a skillful, dynamic leader, and has sponsored major legislation to decriminalize marijuana possession and to create a renewable energy portfolio standard for Entergy New Orleans. She’s earned another four years.
In Baton Rouge, former state Sen. JP Morrell proved to be a a big-picture thinker who doesn’t get lost in the weeds. Even as a progressive Democrat in an increasingly Republican Legislature, Morrell was able to turn his ambitious ideas on domestic violence and criminal justice into law. He and Moreno would make a powerful leadership team.
For City Council district seats:
District A: Joe Giarrusso
District B: Jay Banks
District C: Freddie King III
District D: Eugene Green
District E: Cyndi Nguyen