Rumors are that a big name opponent will challenge Mayor Cantrell

The latest polls show Mayor LaToya Cantrell has a extremely high approval ratings. Couple that with her almost $1 million dollars in the bank and the mayor’s race is likely a forgone conclusion.  Yet, significant turmoil and rumblings of discontent simmer like water just before it boils.  Were the polls flawed?  Have things changed suddenly? Despite this, rumors swirl that a big name opponent will challenge Mayor Cantrell.

 Many believe that she handled the Hard Rock collapse and COVID response properly and correctly.  People believe she erred on the side of caution. The percentages indicate she saved lives and protected our community. She dropped her first campaign commercial during the NBA Finals basketball game.  It focused on her handling of COVID.  New Orleans is over 60% African American.  And the health disparities African Americans endure meant death or illness was dramatic in the city. Almost every African American personally knew someone who died or was seriously affected by COVID. Predictably, New Orleanians responded positively when asked if Cantrell’s pandemic response was good. 

Similarly, the Hard Rock collapse was equally political manna for the mayor.  Our hearts broke for the families that suffered unimaginable grief and sorrow. But the tragedy offered political opportunity. Bodies remained in the perilously unstable building for months.  We all saw the dramatic footage of the cranes crashing down on Canal and Rampart streets.  Daily the Mayor held press conferences with the Fire Chief or Ramsey Green or Jennifer Avegno.  She truly looked mayoral. Her quality team gave plans and updates. A hilarious meme was created. It mocked her nodding her head.  Teedy was born!

Phase 2 is the best though

For the many white readers(and you know who you are) let me explain the Teedy phenomenon.  Teedy means Aunt.  We all have that favorite overindulging and in your business Aunt who tells you what to do. But the obligatory and respectful answer is always, “Yes Teedy!”  That Cantrell was elevated to Teedy status is quite the compliment. And it means, you can only give positive answers when asked about your aunt.  Even if you honestly think differently.  And more importantly, nobody better NOT say nothing bad about my Teedy either.  Cantrell’s elevation to Teedy status explains more about her high approval than any poll. Like the brother on the corner would say, “Man everybody loves Teedy!”

But Teedy is a double-edged sword.  Think about your favorite old aunt. She might offer her opinion inappropriately and with disregard for your perspective.  And as cousins talk, then Teedy is disregarded as old and outdated.  Often, barbershop conversations turn from, “Teedy ain’t playing with y’all,” to ”Man ain’t nobody worried about Teedy and her foolishness. I ain’t wearing no mask. And I’ll go to Jefferson Parish.”   

New Orleans West

There is an odd and maybe growing group of disgruntled New Orleanians.  Odd because they come from different parts of the city. New Orleans East home and business owners and New Orleans West home and business owners. (Alicia Plummer famously coined the term New Orleans West to combat the stereotypes about New Orleans East). Growing because there are real issues facing all New Orleanians

  • no real jobs creation,
  • rising crime,
  • bad streets,
  • moving city hall to Congo Square
  • and the Jazzland redevelopment fiasco(the last two are both NO Saints ownership related issues some say).

And Both the East & the West agree on these issues

Mainly New Orleans West is salty about the slow reopening and lack of jobs creation. The East is concerned about crime, streets, Congo Square and Jazzland redevelopment. But consider that we are all just a bad thunderstorm away from widespread flooding. Then the mayor’s grip on an easy reelection could slip significantly.

Amazingly, the Mayor’s most significant accomplishment might actually end up making her reelection fight more difficult.  All previous mayors challenged the state to return our fair share of contributed taxes back to the city.  Only LaToya Cantrell won this historic and centuries old battle.  Then COVID hit.

As a result, no infrastructure dollars flowed our way. And no real significant infrastructure work has begun.  So each time the city issues a go ahead to park on the neutral grounds(median for you gentrifiers and non-New Orleanians), the mayor is on borrowed time.

Mayor Likely to Be Unopposed by Big Name Opponent

Quite possibly the Mayor Cantrell runs without a major opponent. But these unpolled experiences might mean a big-name opponent could qualify next week. Millions of dollars from NO West awaits the right candidate.  Roy Glapion, Arthur Hunter, Royce Duplessis, and Kristen Palmer have all been mentioned.  Qualifying begins on July 14th and closes on the 16th.  It will be interesting to see who qualifies against the mayor.

One thought on “Will Mayor Cantrell see a last minute big name challenger?”
  1. We Nola residents have to face the times with new innovative strategies that work. Old best practices and mind trends are returning the same ineffective results. The Pandemic has changed and nullified (some antiquated) business practices and pushed us into a new and unexplored era. Change is inevitable. We need leaders not appeasers.

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