LaToya Cantrell Becomes 1st Woman Elected Mayor of New Orleans

Fox 8 screenshot
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.

Ms. Bronner Helm is the Senior Editorial Director at Colorlines. Mouthy Black Girl. Rosalynn Carter Mental Health Fellow. Shea Butter Feminist. Virgo Sun, Aries Moon.


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I am so excited about this. We always have Democrats but our last mayor was just another good ol’ boy. Cantrell has been my city council rep for years and she always did a great job. I think we would have been in fine hands with Charbonnet, but Cantrell is definitely the more progressive of the two.

She comes with flaws - like some sketchy personal expenses on the government credit card she was damn slow to pay back, and the fact that her husband, a city attorney, is enough of a moron that a joint fell out of his pocket IN COURT (and of course he got off scott-free - not that she has to answer for her husband’s crimes, but it’s also like, why should he have an ally in power?). I felt like she backed down on some regulations regarding airbnb, but it was a months-long standoff where they had to just force through a compromise.

Ultimately, I have always liked her - post last year’s election, she emerged as a strong female leader - speaking at our women’s march, visiting schools and speaking to the girls there about consent and being a badass in life, etc. It didn’t help Charbonnet’s case that she was endorsed by Steve Fucking Scalise (WHICH SHE ACCEPTED) and our shitburger DA who deceives, bullies and IMPRISONS potential witnesses (including for rape and domestic violence cases).