Doug Hammel was the clear favorite in political circles in the May 4 runoff election for a Juvenile Court judgeship but Yolanda King and her volunteers had a big surprise for him. In an election where the turnout was just about five percent, King won 54 percent of the vote.
As is almost always the case in New Orleans politics, race was a major factor. King, who is an African-American, was making her fifth race for a judgeship and was considered by some to be a perennial candidate. She spent just $7,750 on her campaign. Hammel, who is white, spent more than $125,000 and, in the view of many of his advisors, didn’t spend enough.