Eugene Ben, an architect with more than a decade of experience developing housing in Central City, became the sixth and final candidate Friday to join the race for the open District B seat on the New Orleans City Council.
An architect and environmentalist, Ben said he has been in District B for 12 years, moving to the city from New York to work with FEMA. He has worked with the Central City Housing Development Corporation, the Central City Partnership, and the Keller Foundation which is building the Keller Community Center on Magnolia Street. He was also involved in designs for the O.C. Haley Boulevard corridor dating back a decade, and in the development of 60 homes in the B.W. Cooper area (now known as Marrero Commons).
The District B race is his first bid for elected office, but Ben said he is motivated to run because of issues relating to economic growth in the city, crime in Central City, lack of after-school activities and land-use issues, among others. He recently spoke before the City Council on behalf of the under-examined issue of community benefit agreements in the Master Plan.
“Nobody ever wants to discuss the issues with environmental justice,” Ben said.
Ben turned in his qualifying paperwork shortly before the ending of the filing period at 4:30 p.m. Friday, bringing the total number of candidates to six in both the District B and District A races.
The full list of candidates who have qualified to run in the city elections as of noon Friday:
- Mayor: Thomas J. Albert Jr., Charles Anderson, Michael Bagneris, Manny “Chevrolet” Bruno, Ed Bruski, LaToya Cantrell, Desiree Charbonnet, Byron Cole, Edward Collins Sr., Brandon Dorrington, Troy Henry, Matthew Hill, Derrick O’Brien Martin, Frank Scurlock, Johnese Smith, Patrick Van Hoorebeek, Tommie A. Vassel, Hashim Walters
- Council At-Large, Division 1: Eldon Anderson, Joe Bouie, Kenneth Cutno, Helena Moreno
- Council At-Large, Division 2: Jason Williams (incumbent), David Baird, Aaron “Ace” Christopher, Jason Coleman, David Gregory Nowak
- Council, District A: Joe Giarrusso III, Tilman Hardy, Aylin Maklansky, Dan Ring, Drew Ward, Toyia Washington-Kendrick
- Council, District B: Jay H. Banks, Seth Bloom, Catherine Love, Timothy David Ray, Andre Strumer
- Council, District C: Nadine Ramsey (incumbent), Kristen Gisleson Palmer
- Council, District D: Jared Brossett (incumbent), Belden “Noonie Man” Batiste, Thad Cossabone, Joel Jackson
- Council, District E: James Gray (incumbent), Freddie Charbonnet, Alicia Plummer Clivens, Cederick Favaroth, Dawn Hebert, Cyndi Nguyen
- Sheriff: Marlin Gusman (incumbent), Freddy Brooks
- Coroner: Jeffrey Rouse (incumbent), Dwight McKenna
- Assessor: Errol Williams (incumbent), Anthony Brown
- Criminal Court Clerk: Arthur Morrell (incumbent), Danil Faust
- Civil Court Clerk: Dale Atkins (incumbent, unopposed)