NEW ORLEANS -- Mayoral candidate Desiree Charbonnet has secured the backing of the Greater New Orleans AFL-CIO as campaign season gets underway.

The union decided Thursday night to back the former Municipal Court judge after interviewing three other candidates running for mayor: retired Civil Court Judge Michael Bagneris, City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell, and businessman Frank Scurlock. The endorsement was echoed by Orleans Parish District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro, who also said he’s backing Charbonnet.

AFL-CIO President Tiger Hammond said Charbonnet is a public servant the union knows well. “We can count on her to put the needs of workers first in New Orleans, especially in her commitment to create new jobs and meaningful economic development for the entire city.”

Cannizzaro said he chose to endorse Charbonnet since she is the only candidate with experience working in the criminal justice system.

"She not only understands the criminal justice system but also the urgency of the violent crime problem that this city faces," Cannizzaro said in a statement released to The New Orleans Advocate.