Jan 042018

Judicial candidates (top from left) Richard Perque, Ellen Hazeur and (bottom left) Taetrece Harrison qualified by Thursday morning, and Richard Duplantier was expected to do so soon. (photos by Danae Columbus for UptownMessenger.com)

Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

New Orleans attorney and former judicial candidate Richard Perque was waiting in the cold yesterday with his family to be the first candidate to qualify for Civil District Court Division A. The seat was formerly held by Tiffany Chase who was recently elected to the 4th Circuit Court of Appeal. The Louisiana Supreme Court appointed longtime civil rights activist Henry Julien, husband of CDC Judge Ethel Julien, to sit ad hoc. Continue reading »

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Jan 032018

Royce Duplessis

Kenny Bordes

The first two candidates to qualify to run for the state House of Representatives seat to be vacated by Helena Moreno are a private attorney who specializes in civil-rights law and the entertainment industry and the current chair of the City Planning Commission, according to the Secretary of State’s office. Continue reading »

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Dec 212017

State Senator Troy Carter talks with Councilman-elect Joe Giarrusso and Clerk of Second City Court Darren Lombard at Wednesday’s meeting of local Democrats. (photo by Danae Columbus)

Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

When the local Democratic Parish Executive Committee and friends met last night to celebrate the holiday season, they just didn’t talk about which candidates would be qualifying for the spring elections, but how the Democratic Party nationally is rebuilding from the grass roots. Continue reading »

Dec 152017

District B City Councilman Jay H. Banks speaks while Faubourg Delachaise Neighborhood Association president Debby Pigman listens on Thursday, Dec. 14. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

As he continues to meet constituents on his way into the District B City Council office, Jay H. Banks recently heard what he calls a “horror story” about the proliferation of AirBnB in Uptown neighborhoods.

A woman who lives Uptown told him that she now has whole-home short-term rentals on either side of her house. She regrets the loss of permanent neighbors but generally tries to make do, until recently the house on one side of her was booked for a bachelor party, while the house on the other side was booked by an unrelated bachelorette party the same weekend.

That coincidence, Banks said, led to an easily predictable conclusion. Continue reading »

Dec 142017

Clerk of Court Dale Atkins leads a class on the court’s new electronic filing system. (photo by Danae Columbus for UptownMessenger.com)

Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

Citing a desire to continue as “an instrument of justice,” long-time Clerk of Civil District Court Dale N. Atkins will enter the spring 2018 race for an open position on the 4th Circuit Court of Appeal. The seat was vacated by Judge Madeleine Landrieu who recently became Dean of Loyola University’s Law School. Continue reading »

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Dec 132017

State Rep. Helena Moreno speaks during a candidates’ forum Aug. 5 during the race for the At-Large seat on the New Orleans City Council. Moreno won and will resign from the state legislature prior to being seated on the Council in May. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The special election to fill state Rep. Helena Moreno’s seat in the state legislature has been set for March — with qualifying less than a month away in January — and the newly-elected member of the City Council says she will resign from the legislature as soon as her replacement is elected so that the seat does not go unfilled during the busy upcoming legislative session.

“When a new representative is elected and ready to go in, I’m absolutely happy to step aside and let them take over,” Moreno told Uptown Messenger on Wednesday morning. “I just want to make sure we are never missing representation.” Continue reading »

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Dec 012017

At least four incoming City Council members have expressed serious concern with short-term rental laws, said incoming Councilman Joe Giarrusso III at a Carrollton neighborhood meeting Thursday night. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

With a majority of incoming New Orleans City Council members having campaigned on frustration with the rapid conversion of residential homes into small temporary hotels, tightening the city’s short-term rental laws is likely to be a top early priority when they are seated next year — while they get a grasp on larger issues like fixing the drainage system, incoming City Councilman Joe Giarrusso III told Carrollton neighborhood activists. Continue reading »

Nov 272017

Seth Bloom speaks to supporters on election night, Nov. 18. (Zach Brien, UptownMessenger.com)

After a recount concluded Monday morning narrowing the margin of his loss to 128 votes, Seth Bloom has conceded the District B election to Jay H. Banks, he announced Monday afternoon. Continue reading »

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Nov 272017

Darren Mire (left) and Thomas Robichaux confer with elections director Sherri Hadskey over a ballot during the District B recount on Monday. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The recount of absentee ballots in the District B City Council race added a net of three votes to Seth Bloom’s total, but he still trails Jay H. Banks by 128 votes, according to tallies released by election officials.

Bloom campaign manager Gary Solomon Jr. said that over the last week, they have identified more than 128 irregularities and discrepancies in the individual vote totals, but will not likely continue to challenge the outcome of the election. After conferring with Bloom, the campaign will issue a report on its findings later this afternoon, as well as a determination on what next steps to take.

“We want to continue the challenge the process, but not necessarily the race. Seth wants to make sure we hold the process accountable,” Bloom campaign manager Gary Solomon Jr. said. “Seth will likely concede today.” Continue reading »

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Nov 232017

Newly elected Judge Nicole Sheppard and supporters. (submitted photo)

Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

Newly elected judge Nicole Sheppard, Civil District Court Division J, has the common touch. In a relatively low budget campaign with few paid consultants, Sheppard coasted to a very comfortable victory over attorney Omar Mason by conducting an old-fashioned grassroots campaign in the churches and the streets.

“We definitely worked hard. The voters believed in me, my sincerity and my independence. They could feel my passion to serve the people,” Sheppard reflected yesterday. The CDC vacancy occurred due to the election of Judge Paula Brown to the 4th Circuit Court of Appeal. Continue reading »

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Nov 232017

Seth Bloom speaks during a candidates’ forum in Mid-City in October. ( MidCityMessenger.com
file photo by Sabree Hill)

Seth Bloom has requested a recount of the absentee ballots in the runoff election for the open District B seat on the New Orleans City Council, his campaign said. Continue reading »

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Nov 212017

Gary Solomon Jr. (center), campaign manager for Seth Bloom, and Joe Casler (left), an attorney for Jay Banks, photograph documents from a voting machine from the city’s 10th Ward as part of the inspection process Tuesday morning. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The process of making a final determination as to whether Jay H. Banks won the runoff for the District B seat on the New Orleans City Council took its first step Tuesday morning when officials inspected each voting machine from the district. Continue reading »

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Nov 192017

Areas in dark green or dark blue are those where Jay Banks and Seth Bloom won by a margin of more than 15 points, respectively. The lighter green and blue represent precincts where their win was closer, within 15 points of each other. (UptownMessenger.com graphic)

Jay Banks addresses supporters after his narrow win in the City Council runoff election Saturday. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

In his apparent victory Saturday night in the runoff for the District B seat on the New Orleans City Council, Jay H. Banks picked up a few voting precincts that Seth Bloom had won in the primary, in addition to holding on to his base and winning all the areas that had supported third-place finisher Timothy David Ray, an analysis of voting patterns shows. Continue reading »

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Nov 182017

Jay Banks gestures to supporters during his victory speech Saturday night at Ashe Power House. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Jay Banks has won the District B race with 100 percent of precincts reporting, according to official results.

By Robert Morris and Claire Byun

Jay Banks has won the runoff for the District B seat on the New Orleans City Council over Seth Bloom by a narrow margin of 131 votes, according to the official results, but Bloom says he is not conceding the race until next week.

Seth Bloom refuses to concede the result of the District B City Council race. It will come down to a recount on Tuesday, November 21. (Zach Brien, UptownMessenger.com)

Continue reading »

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Nov 162017
Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

The winner of Saturday’s historic battle to elect the first female mayor of New Orleans will be the woman who does the best job of getting out her vote. Though all the polls still have City Councilmember LaToya Cantrell ahead against former Judge Desiree Charbonnet, insiders who are reading daily tracking polls believe that Cantrell’s lead has been shrinking as the race tightens up. Continue reading »

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