Two community activists who have devoted themselves to rebuilding New Orleans in different ways since Hurricane Katrina — one in revitalizing a neighborhood marked for abandonment, and the other in reforming the city’s troubled criminal justice system — will face each other in a runoff next month for an open seat on the New Orleans City Council, based on Tuesday night’s election results. Unofficial results from early voting and ballots cast Tuesday show LaToya Cantrell leading with about 39 percent of the vote, followed by Dana Kaplan with 31 percent, which will lead to a Dec. 8 runoff between the two. Eric Strachan garnered about 24 percent of the vote, and Marlon “Buck” Horton took 6 percent. Cantrell, a native of Los Angeles, campaigned heavily based on her experience leading Broadmoor back from the notorious post-Katrina “green dot” suggestion that it not be rebuilt, and her victory speech drew parallels between that effort and her campaign itself.
Two polls commissioned last week in the District B City Council race each show different results among the top three candidates, but both suggest that the Nov. 6 election will be fairly close and lead to a runoff. Who will be in that runoff is not made clear by the two polls, however:
The first poll to be released, commissioned by the Win Partners consulting group working with LaToya Cantrell’s campaign, shows her in the lead, followed by Eric Strachan. A second poll, commissioned by the Dana Kaplan campaign, shows Kaplan in the lead, followed by Cantrell. An average of the two polls’ results, similar to those done by Real Clear Politics and CNN, shows Cantrell in the lead, followed by Kaplan with just a single point lead over Strachan.
With the latest campaign finance reports filed in the District B City Council race, the pattern established earlier in the contest may be holding: Eric Strachan continues to hold a lead in fundraising, but Dana Kaplan appears to have nearly as much or more cash on hand in the final week before the Nov. 6 election. LaToya Cantrell’s campaign continues to trail both Strachan and Kaplan in total money raised and spent, although her fundraising did outpace Kaplan’s during one part of the reporting period, the reports show. Finally, Marlon “Buck” Horton filed a report stating that he did not raise or spend any money during the latest period. According to campaign finance reports that were due to the Louisiana Board of Ethics today, Strachan raised $27,325 in the three weeks between Sept.
Dana Kaplan, one of three announced candidates for the open Uptown-based District B seat on the City Council, will hold her campaign kickoff party tonight (Tuesday, Aug. 14), her staff announced. Kaplan planned to turn in her petition of more than 1,000 signatures to place her on the ballot at City Hall today, and then hold a kickoff party at 5:30 p.m. at Victory restaurant, 339 Baronne.
Five years ago, City Councilwoman Jackie Clarkson gave Eric Strachan his first job in City Hall. At a Thursday night election launch party, she gave him his first major endorsement as he seeks a seat alongside join her on the council. In her endorsement, Clarkson invoked the legacy of the young candidate’s parents, Camille and the late Duncan Strachan, who were instrumental in the preservation and restoration of the Lower Garden District. Eric Strachan, Clarkson said, will continue that devotion to New Orleans. “You want to elect somebody who was born and raised with that kind of commitment,” Clarkson said.
The race to fill the remainder of Stacy Head’s term representing the Uptown-based District B on the New Orleans City Council is now likely to be a three-way contest, with juvenile-justice advocate Dana Kaplan’s confirmation Thursday morning that she will be running. Kaplan was exploring a bid as early as May with a neighborhood association visit, and two weeks ago her supporters said they were launching a drive to get 1,000 signatures on a petition to add her to the District B ballot. On Wednesday morning, Kaplan’s campaign announced that the petition drive would continue, but that she was confirming her intention to run. Kaplan will face two other announced candidates for the seat, Broadmoor Improvement Association president LaToya Cantrell and former Stacy Head chief of staff Eric Strachan. The seat is currently being held until the Nov.