Aug 042012

Helena Moreno

Ending a subplot of the race for the District B seat on the City Council almost as soon as it began, state Rep. Helena Moreno said Saturday afternoon that she won’t be a candidate for the job.

“I love the legislature,” Moreno said in a telephone interview, describing a daily enthusiasm to go to work on state issues affecting the city. “I don’t think that’s something I’m ready to give up at this point.”

Though she said she is grateful for the supporters who urged her to run for City Council, she said she pointed out that she serves on the House criminal justice and appropriations commitees, two “key” appointments for a lawmaker from New Orleans.

“In my opinion, I think I’m best off right now for the city of New Orleans in the legislature,” Moreno said.

Moreno’s decision will likely be welcomed by the supporters of all three announced candidates, Broadmoor Improvement Association president LaToya Cantrell, juvenile-justice advocate Dana Kaplan and former Stacy Head chief of staff Eric Strachan. As a well-known former TV journalist, a veteran of difficult campaigns and the only contender to have won office, Moreno would have immediately been seen as a frontrunner.

Moreno says she has already met with Cantrell and Kaplan, and plans to sit down with Strachan soon. All three seem like “good options” for the seat, she said, and she hopes to have as strong a relationship with the winner as she did with Stacy Head.

“District B is incredibly important to me,” Moreno said. “Who is going to be there to help me go to Baton Rouge and help me lobby for important issues in the city?”

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