Uptown neighborhoods south of St. Charles Avenue hand Council B seat to Lesli Harris

In this year’s municipal elections, voters either went all in for their incumbents or they voted them out. Unfortunately for District B’s Jay H. Banks, he landed in the latter category. The council member lost his seat in the runoff election on Saturday (Dec. 11), and attorney Lesli Harris will be taking his place. Harris lost to Banks in the first round of voting in the November primary, but she got 57% of the vote in the runoff.

Uptown voters helped Susan Hutson beat 17-year incumbent Marlin Gusman in sheriff’s race

In a striking underdog victory, Susan Hutson beat incumbent Marlin Gusman in the runoff for the sheriff’s race on Saturday (Dec. 11), becoming the first woman ever elected sheriff in New Orleans and the first Black woman elected sheriff in Louisiana.?

Although Hutson came in second to Gusman in the primary race in November, she won the runoff with 53% of the vote. She garnered around 32,000 votes while Gusman, who has held his post for 17 years, got around 28,000. Turnout was 22.4%, according to unofficial election results from the Louisiana Secretary of State. While Gusman won the most precincts in the neighborhoods of Lakeview, New Orleans East and Algiers, Hutson managed to grab most of Uptown, Central City and Mid-City.

Viewpoint: Opponents of the affordable housing tax are making the perfect the enemy of the good

New Orleans is in the midst of an affordable housing crisis that can only be mitigated by addressing the racial equity needs of the city’s most marginalized citizens, said Andreanecia Morris, who leads the Greater New Orleans Housing Alliance (GNOHA). A respected affordable housing professional, Morris is having a hard time understanding the mindset of groups, including the Bureau of Governmental Research, that are either neutral or opposed to the renewal of the city’s property tax dedicated to increased affordable housing and blight elimination. The proposition appears on the ballot this Saturday (Dec. 11). If voters reject the renewal, the tax will expire at the end of the year.

Viewpoint: Progressives show mainstream clout in the sheriff’s race

With the Dec. 11 runoff election just nine days away, the candidates and the political action committees behind them are wasting no time getting out their last-minute messages — mostly in the form of attacks. Though not officially on the ballot, the construction of an 89-bed special needs jail is at the heart of this year’s competition between Sheriff Marlin Gusman and former Independent Police Monitor Susan Hutson. Gusman won 48% of the vote in the primary while Hutson ran second with 32%.??

With the Sheriff’s Office still under the federal consent decree, U.S. District Judge Lance Africk’s posturing has made it clear: build a special needs jail from scratch and commit the resources to operate it or face the consequences. It’s hard to disagree in public with a federal judge.

Janet Hays: Why I’m with Marlin Gusman (sponsored)

“Unconstitutional medical and mental health issues have permeated this litigation, and your efforts have greatly helped the Court address those concerns.?Our work is not yet completed,?but the path is clear. Once Phase III has been completed, a major obstacle will have been cleared toward substantial compliance.” –??Judge Lance Africk addressing Sheriff Gusman’s progress on federal consent decree, Nov. 3, 2021

“I expect a federal court order,?such as any issued by this Court, to be complied with, whether it be by the?City of New Orleans or anyone else who is a party to that court order.?Throughout history,?not complying with federal court orders has not been a successful strategy, and we will just leave it at that.” –?Judge Lance Africk addressing the City of New Orleans on their refusal to move forward with Phase III, Nov. 3, 2021?
Really read those quotes above and then think about this: a flashpoint in the sheriff’s race right now is whether or not we are going to build a federally mandated infirmary and mental health facility. I have endorsed Sheriff?Marlin?Gusman because, as an expert in removing policy barriers for acute mental health disorders and treatments, the Phase III special-needs facility is far more humane than a Phase II retrofit, and because his opponent Susan Hutson’s agenda is harmful to the health and safety of these communities.

Interactive maps show how your neighborhood voted for mayor, sheriff and at-large council members

Saturday’s election snuck up on New Orleans — after Hurricane Ida delayed voting day by a month, it would have been easy to forget that there were still crucial races for mayor, sheriff, City Council and more. Nevertheless, more than 75,000 voters cast their ballots and made their voices heard, a turnout of around 28%. See how your neighborhood voted for mayor, sheriff and the at-large council seats below.?
Mayor’s race
This race was not a nail-biter: as widely expected, Democrat LaToya Cantrell comfortably won re-election with 65% of the vote, around 49,000 ballots. Although Cantrell faced an unlucky 13 opponents, few of them garnered real support. Republican Vina Nguyen came in second with 13% of the vote, around 10,000 ballots.

Jay Banks and Lesli Harris will go to runoff for City Council District B race


The race for the City Council District B seat has been tough, and it’s not over yet. Incumbent Jay H. Banks won 45% of the vote in the election on Saturday, while challenger Lesli Harris won 37%, meaning that both Democrats will go to a runoff on Dec. 11.?

Banks is no stranger to nail-biter races; he won his seat in 2017 by just 128 votes in a runoff against former School Board member Seth Bloom. Harris, an entertainment attorney, doesn’t have previous experience in political office, but she has proven to be a formidable candidate and managed to outraise all of her opponents in campaign contributions.???

Democrat Rella Zapletal, an attorney and president of the Touro Bouligny Neighborhood Association, garnered 14% of the vote, winning in two precincts. Independent Rosalind Reed Thibodeaux, who supports more ideological diversity on the council, got 5% of the vote.

Joe Giarrusso rides a landslide into re-election for City Council District A

For Joe Giarrusso III, the question was not whether he would win his re-election bid for City Council District A, but by how much. The answer: by a landslide.?

Giarrusso crushed his competition, Libertarian Amy Misko and fellow Democrat Robert Murrell, and won with 76% of the vote in Saturday’s election, according to unofficial results from the Louisiana Secretary of State. In comparison, he won his first race for City Council in 2017 with 65% of the vote. The incumbent council member not only earned more than three times as many votes as his two opponents combined, he won in every District A precinct.?

His strongest performance was in the University area of Uptown, where he won more than 90% of the vote in four 14th Ward precincts (9, 8, 14 and 6).?

His weakest performance — although he still prevailed — was in a few left-leaning Mid-City spots: 5th Ward precincts 9 and 10, in the lower Bayou St. John area, and 3rd Ward precinct 19, a slice of Mid-City between Canal Street and the Pontchartrain Expressway.

Lesli Harris adds to her list of endorsements as election day nears (sponsored)

While the current Councilperson of District B is insistent that he cannot make an impact on our community’s greatest challenges, Lesli Harris has outlined a new way forward. From her plans to repair our roads, increase community policing to reduce crime, and make District B more amenable to small businesses, Lesli Harris has demonstrated her commitment to improving our neighborhoods. For these reasons, Congressman Troy Carter released a video message this week urging residents of the district —which includes Uptown, Central City, parts of Mid City, and the CBD — to vote for Lesli Harris. The congressman, who won a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives earlier this year, is joined by District Attorney Jason Williams, the Democratic Party of New Orleans, the International Womens Organization, Forum for Equality, and others who are formally supporting Lesli Harris’ candidacy. “District B deserves a champion.