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Former Orleans Parish Criminal Court Judge Keva Landrum arrives at the Clerk of Criminal District Courts to qualify for the Orleans Parish District Attorney race in New Orleans, La. Wednesday, July 22, 2020. (Photo by Max Becherer, NOLA.com, The Times-Picayune | The New Orleans Advocate)

Here are endorsements of The Times-Picayune in important political races in the greater New Orleans metropolitan area. We encourage voters to cast an informed ballot on Nov. 3, or earlier if possible; early voting starts Friday to provide safety protocols in place for the election.

Orleans Parish District Attorney: Keva Landrum

With two-term District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro retiring, change is coming no matter who fills his shoes. Voters will choose from an impressive field of contenders, each of whom promises to temper controversial policies of the past that many citizens found counterproductive and overly harsh.

Keva Landrum has the best experience and outlook. A criminal court judge until she stepped down ahead of the campaign, Landrum has filled the role before. As interim district attorney in 2007 and 2008, she restored order to an office plagued by disarray under Eddie Jordan. Former Judge Arthur Hunter is also an impressive candidate, and he has been outspoken in opposing prosecution for minor drug offenses and rooting out bad past prosecutions.

Louisiana Supreme Court District 7: Terri Love

The contest to succeed Chief Justice Bernette Johnson also offers voters strong options. We’re impressed with Civil District Court Judge Piper Griffin’s reputation among fellow lawyers, but believe Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal Judge Terri Love is best prepared to join the state’s highest court.

Love, a former judge at Civil District Court, has served on the appeals court for 20 years. The court has jurisdiction over civil, criminal and juvenile and family matters, and Love has written more than 700 appellate opinions, which is good preparation for the work that awaits the new justice.

District Attorney for the 22nd JDC: Warren Montgomery

Warren Montgomery has been the chief prosecutor in St. Tammany and Washington Parishes since 2015, and during that time has restored a sense of professionalism following the dispiriting corruption investigation and eventual conviction of former District Attorney Walter Reed. Among the reforms Montgomery introduced is the creation of a screening division, which he credits with accelerating the time from arrest to conviction.

Orleans Parish School Board

Two years after the Orleans Parish School Board took control of a system of decentralized charter schools developed largely under state authority, progress remains encouraging, but incomplete. We believe the following candidates are best positioned to protect the gains and to address ongoing challenges such as offering families more high-rated options, providing full access for students with learning disabilities, effectively overseeing a far-flung network of operators, retaining veteran teachers and ensuring greater equity across the board.

  • District 1: John Brown
  • District 2: Ethan Ashley
  • District 3: Olin Parker
  • District 4: J.C. Romero
  • District 5: Katherine Baudouin
  • District 6: Carlos Zervigon
  • District 7: Nolan Marshall Jr.