A Focus on Districts C & D
Once again most of the voting public stayed home, hit the club, went out to dinner, or did who knows what while their political leaders were elected by a small minority who did bother to vote. In District D, 22.6% of voters unofficially turned out to elect Eugene Green as the district’s representative on the City Council. And in District C, 21.3% unofficially did the same for Freddie King III. Nonetheless, there’s a new council in New Orleans.
Of the two races, only one was competitive. And it wasn’t District C. King blew out Stephanie Bridges for the right to represent Algiers, the French Quarter, the Marigny, and the Bywater. King took in 6,390 votes to Bridges’ 3,885. If this race was a football game, it would’ve been over in the first quarter. By the time newscasters could get their makeup on, the King camp was already high fiving, popping bottles, and doing various forms of the two-step.
This was an expected result. Besides a minor difference on short term rentals, not much separated King and Bridges. The same meal was being prepared. It was just a matter of who voters wanted to serve it to them. In the end, the brand name won out. That was King. King went into this race with the backing of almost every known politician and publication in the metro area. State-wise, he even had Governor Edwards behind him. Now at only 37, he has a potentially prosperous political future ahead of him.
There’s a new council in New Orleans
While there was plenty of two-stepping and bottle popping going on at the King headquarters, Eugene Green and his team had to put their champagne and dancing shoes on ice. Green went into this run-off with all the juice, momentum, and a 4,000 vote lead. By the time the night was over, he sweated out a 60 vote win. All the every-vote-count-advocates had to be wagging the proverbial I-told-you-so fingers in the air.
60 votes. While there are no moral victories in political races, Troy Glover has to feel good about his showing. He went into this run-off lacking in funding, name recognition, and experience. He also went into it lacking in votes by a margin of 5,836 to 1,979 after the general election. Though he left with a L, he also claimed a minor victory by gaining the backing of Mayor Cantrell, and D.A. Jason Williams. How he leverages that into his political future will be interesting to see.
Green, on the other hand, avoided an epic collapse and had to let off a “whew!” that was heard all over the district after finally gaining office on his fourth try. His election can be seen as a win by the old guard over the new guard despite the new guard (Hutson, Morrell, King, Williams) claiming victories in recent elections.
Related: Money Talks in the City Council Race
Inauguration day for the members of the City Council is January 24th. After all-black Councils, majority white Councils, the Council now finds itself in the midst of a youth movement. Come inauguration day, only two members of the Council will be over 50 years old. It will also be the first time that three of them have even held political office. Expect interesting times as the new members try to balance political ambitions and constituent expectations with Council traditions while trying to regulate perpetual problem children like the NOPD, S&WB, and Entergy. What does that equal? You guessed it: growing pains. Stay tuned. Cause there’s a new council in New Orleans.