Dec 092012

Some voters in the District B runoff on Saturday said they were impressed with LaToya Cantrell’s record in Broadmoor, while others said they admired Dana Kaplan’s advocacy for juvenile justice. Just as frequently, however, they said they wanted to support Councilwoman Stacy Head’s efforts to provide some balance against Mayor Mitch Landrieu — or that they wanted to show support for Landrieu’s work so far.

Here’s a glance at what some voters said guided their choices at several polling places near Freret, in Mid-City and in the Garden District. Most agreed to discuss their vote only on condition that their name not be printed.

  • One Cantrell supporter at the Isidore Newman School polling place, a physician, said he had voted for Strachan on Nov. 6, and decided to vote for Cantrell after Strachan endorsed her. Stacy Head’s endorsement of Cantrell was also important to him, he said, especially because of her willingness to disagree with Mayor Mitch Landrieu. “I think Stacy’s doing a good job, and I figure she’s paying attention to it,” he said of the District B race.
  • A voter at Warren Easton High School who chose Strachan in the runoff also said she followed him to Cantrell. She was impressed by Cantrell’s stance on blight, she said, and also believed that her heart was in the right place.
  • Shirley Washington, a resident of the Freret neighborhood who votes at Newman, said she supported Cantrell both in November and again on Saturday, based primarily on what she knew of Cantrell’s record in Broadmoor. “She seems like person who wants to help the city,” Washington said, and also acknowledged some influence from Head’s endorsement. “Stacy turned out to be better than I thought.”
  • A woman who voted for Kaplan at Newman said she received calls from two city councilwoman urging her to vote for Cantrell, and that seemed strange to her. Instead, she took her cue from Landrieu’s endorsement of Kaplan, she said. “I like the mayor and went with who he wanted,” she said. “I think there needs to be more working together.”
  • A voter at the Magazine Street fire station in the Garden District who originally voted for Strachan switched to Kaplan instead of Cantrell, despite Strachan’s endorsement. For her, she said, she was concerned about the marijuana charge against Cantrell’s husband.

Most of the voters interviewed said they ultimately felt that both candidates were qualified for the job, including Jaime and Whitney Arroyave, a married couple who voted for opposite candidates at Newman.

Jaime Arrovaye said he chose Kaplan primarily on the basis of her work in juvenile justice, which he said shows commitment to solving hard problems. “It’s not a glamorous job,” he said.

But heavy outreach from the Kaplan campaign also played a role, he said — staffers called him five times to remind him to vote. For his wife, however, the Kaplan campaign was too well-funded — she said she was disturbed by the hundreds of thousands of dollars Kaplan amassed for the election.

“I think it’s too much to spend on a local election,” Whitney Arrovaye said, before she and her husband, despite their differing political views, cheerfully walked toward home together.

[Marta Jewson contributed reporting from Warren Easton and the Magazine Street fire station.]

  2 Responses to “Endorsements and records guide voters’ decisions in District B race”

  1. The endorsement by Ms. Head certainly influenced our household…..the big factor for us was Ms. Kaplan’s association with a “get out of jail free” juvenile justice project….we want violent criminals, regardless of age, put away where they cannot threaten or damage society.

  2. Let’s hope Ms. Cantrell falls in the footsteps of Ms. Head, and doesn’t follow the path of Ms. Head’s predecessors.

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