Two Incumbents in Big Trouble

The next New Orleans City Council is very different.   The runoff elections set a new council. Most telling on election night was the presence of the two council at large members on the podium with newly elected Oliver Thomas. Thomas defeated the incumbent, Cyndi Nguyen to claim the District E seat. Thomas’s victory is historic. He is the first person elected to three different council seats. Lesli Harris also secured her seat by defeating an incumbent, Jay Banks. Eugene Green won the District D seat and Freddie King claimed the District C seat. The New Orleans City Council looks very different.

Unseating a sitting city council member is extremely hard.  Council members must engage their constituents.  Their job is to protect their constituents’ quality of life.  Got a pothole on your street?  Call your city council member.  Want your neighborhood park’s grass cut?  Call your city council member.  Got a nuisance bar, corner grocery, ….fill in the blank?  Call your council member.  The point is that good and effective council members should personally know the needs of their districts and be responsive to the community.   

District E

District Attorney Jason Williams introduced Oliver Thomas to the elated crowd of supporters. Thomas previously served two terms as District B councilman and two terms as the AT Large councilman. Williams said when he was elected at large , “The first person I called was Oliver Thomas. I just wanted to pick his brain!” State Rep Jason Hughes said, “This is a victory for all the people who needed a second or third chance in life.” Thomas’s election indicates the voters of District E are intelligent and able to cut through the rhetoric of black men are incorrigibly bad.

 Cyndi Nguyen lost 85% of the precincts in her district. She made several inexplicably bad comments about black people – from black people only wanting to eat greasy fried chicken to high energy bills were because people had cracks in their homes. But Ms Nguyen served admirably during her tenure and ran a clean campaign. Still the people in the district overwhelmingly chose Oliver Thomas..

During his victory speech, Thomas said, “You can’t elect me but then tell young black men you can’t have a job cause you made a mistake.” The erupted with raucous applause.  Thomas secured 57% of the vote to win going away to Ms. Nguyen’s 43%.


New Orleans City Council looks very different.

District B

Lesli Harris effectively painted the sitting councilman, Jay Banks, as a can’t do politician. Banks did run first in the primary. But Harris whipped him 57 to 43 in the runoff. Lesli Harris is a political newcomer. But she is a smart and attractive woman who worked hard. During a recent debate on WBOK 1230am radio, Harris claimed voters wanted change. She was right.  The New Orleans City Council looks very different.

Harris repeated a consistent and effective message.  She said over and over that she could do what Banks said can’t be done.  On election night she said, “We have talked about the potholes that can get fixed, the crime that can get solved. Jay Banks has said he can’t do any of those things. We have stood on what we can do.”  Harris is a lawyer and the former chief of staff to the president of Loyola University. In a shocking landslide, Harris won with 57% of the vote to Banks 43%.

District D

Councilman Elect Eugene Green

Eugene Green narrowly bested Troy Glover in District D. Green established himself as the solid proven leader the district needs. Glover had the support of Mayor LaToya Cantrell and DA Jason Williams. But Green is widely popular and has run for office before. Troy Glover has good ideas and seems to have a bright future. But the time is now for Eugene Green! With both candidates securing 50% of the vote, Green captured 60 more votes than Glover. Both candidates will be on hand when they manually validate the numbers on Tuesday.

District C

Freddie King had a pretty easy time defeating Stephanie Bridges. King had more money, the backing of Congressman Troy Carter and nearly every other possible endorsement. Ms. Bridges ran a solid grassroots campaign but the odds were against her. The voters of the district voted 62% to 38% to elect Mr. King. Freddie is ready!!

The New Orleans City Council will be sworn in on January 24th.   

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