LaToya Cantrell won 60 percent of the vote against Desiree Charbonnet, who is also African American, on Saturday to become New Orleans’ first woman mayor, ABC News reported.
“Almost 300 years, my friends, and New Orleans, we’re still making history,” Cantrell, a New Orleans City Councilmember, told a crowd of supporters after her victory was announced, according to The Times-Picayune. “Our history was two women making that runoff, and we both deserve to be proud of that.”
Cantrell and Charbonnet, a former municipal judge, topped a field of 18 candidates in October, which led to the runoff election. It was a convincing victory, in which the mayor-elect led Charbonnet in most of the polls prior to Saturday’s runoff election and was never behind in the vote count. Cantrell cross the finish line first despite Charbonnet attacking the City Councilwoman on an official audit of her spending while in office. The Louisiana Legislative Auditor is probing all City Council credit card spending that exceeded $400,000 over the past four years. For Cantrell, there are some unanswered questions about her international travel.
Charbonnet conceded Saturday night in a speech to her supporters and called to congratulate Cantrell, The Times-Picayune reported. The former judge told the disappointed crowd that “we all do well” if Cantrell succeeds, adding that seeing New Orleans thrive is a goal that will require unity. Meanwhile, Cantrell told her supporters that both women “deserve to be proud” of their accomplishments in the historic election. Cantrell will replace term-limited Democratic Mayor Mitch Landrieu, who leaves the city in a better economic situation than his predecessor Mayor Ray Nagin, who’s severing a federal prison sentence for corruption.