LaToya Cantrell Becomes 1st Woman Elected Mayor of New Orleans

Fox 8 screenshot

The rich, iconic city of New Orleans has its first female mayor in its 300-year history: LaToya Cantrell was officially elected to the position Saturday night.

Cantrell defeated Desiree Charbonnet with 60 percent of the vote after a monthlong runoff, WWL-TV reports.


“Almost 300 years, my friends. And New Orleans, we’re still making history,” Cantrell told a cheering crowd in her victory speech.

The Associated Press reports that Cantrell moved to the city from California in the late 1980s to attend Xavier University, an HBCU. Her work as a neighborhood activist in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina reportedly helped her win a seat on the City Council in 2012.

With the mayoral inauguration set for May, there will be a six-month span before Cantrell takes over from fellow Democrat Mitch Landrieu.


Exit polls show that Cantrell likely benefited from African-American voters. Charbonnet, an African-American judge from a prominent New Orleans family, meanwhile, reportedly took the white vote by about 30 percent, according to WWL-TV.

Read more at USA Today and SF Gate.

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Angela Helm

Ms. Bronner Helm is a Contributing Editor at The Root. Mouthy Black Girl. Rosalynn Carter Mental Health Fellow. Shea Butter Feminist. Virgo Sun, Aries Moon.