Petition to recall New Orleans' Democratic mayor fails

 March 22, 2023

Fox News reported this week that New Orleans Democratic Mayor LaToya Cantrell will remain in office after a majority of recall petition signatures were found to be invalid. 

Louisiana Gov. Democratic John Bel Edwards announced on Tuesday that only 27,243 of the over 67,000 signatures were legitimate. Forty-five thousand signatures were needed to initiate a recall referendum.

Cantrell says recall attempt was motivated by racism

Cantrell issued a statement that read, "My administration has always remained focused on addressing the real pressing issues that face our city."

"Now, with the divisiveness of the failed recall campaign officially behind us, we must heal and recommit ourselves to working collaboratively to continue the progress we’ve made towards reducing crime, increasing public safety, building a more sustainable and resilient city and creating economic and job opportunities that benefit all of our people," she noted.

Fox News noted that Cantrell's long-time campaign manager Maggie Carroll released a statement of her own following the petition's failure.

"The recall campaign has been divisive, dishonest, and opaque to say the least. It’s time for New Orleanians to better our city in the way we do best – by coming together," she said.

Cantrell blamed recall effort on racism

Cantrell has for some time claimed that efforts to recall her were racially motivated, calling them an attempt to disenfranchise "Black voters in our community."

However, Washington Examiner columnist Quin Hillyer pointed out how the recall campaign's two lead organizers, Eileen Carter and Belden “Noonie Man” Batiste, are both African American.

What's more, Hillyer stressed that polling data showed Cantrell's approval numbers to be "extremely low across almost every demographic line in the city."

New Orleans' homicide rate has soared

He attributed the recall campaign's failure to "a lack of professionalism" and stressed that Carter and Batiste are not "hardened political professionals."

"Their volunteer-heavy efforts were impressively energetic, but observers repeatedly said they lacked professional standards and scope," Hillyer added.

"Petition drives are hard, especially when relying so much on amateurs and especially when each form must be filled out 'just so,'" he explained.

Cantrell has received widespread criticism for presiding over a crime surge, with Fox News reporting that New Orleans' homicide rate spiked by 116% between 2019 and 2022.

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