The races for New Orleans mayor and city council will draw the most attention in Saturday's elections, though a statewide race for treasurer and other local contests and tax issues are also on the ballot.
Voter turnout could be low on Saturday outside of New Orleans, though in the city, early voting turnout was on par with the 2010 election, officials said.
In all, 18 candidates are running for mayor of New Orleans. Most are political novices, though the field includes two former judges, a current City Council member and several businessmen.
The other citywide races are for two at-large seats on the New Orleans City Council. In Division 1, three candidates are vying to replace at-large member Stacy Head. In Division 2, incumbent Jason Williams faces four challengers.
All five district council seats are also on the ballot, with incumbents seeking re-election in Districts C, D and E. There are also races in Districts A (to replace Susan Guidry) and B, to replace LaToya Cantrell, who is running for mayor.
There are also two judgeships on the ballot in Orleans Parish and an unusual race for coroner. The incumbent, Dr. Jeffrey Rouse, qualified to run for re-election but has since dropped out, leaving just Dr. Dwight McKenna in the race. Rouse’s name will appear on the ballot, however, and if he wins enough votes, he will have to resign and a special election would be called.
Voters statewide will elect a new state treasurer, with six candidates in the race to replace John Kennedy, who was elected to the U.S. Senate.
One of those candidates, Rep. John Schroder, will be replaced in the state House by one of four candidates running in the Dist. 77 election, which covers areas of Covington, Madisonville and Folsom. There are also a handful of judgeships in St. Tammany Parish on the ballot and a parish council seat on the ballot. Tangipahoa Parish voters will also elect a Clerk of Court.
Jefferson Parish voters will decide a hot race for a district seat on the parish council. Danny Martiny and Dominick Impastato are waging a tough fight to replace former District 4 Councilman Ben Zahn, who was elected Kenner mayor.
There are also three state constitutional amendments on the ballot statewide. The non-partisan Public Affairs Research Council has released its guide to the amendments. Click here for the information.
There are a handful of tax issues on the ballot as well. In Orleans Parish, voters will consider a proposed 10-year renewal of three existing property taxes for Orleans Parish public schools. Jefferson Parish voters will be asked to renew two existing property taxes to operate and maintain Jefferson Parish’s public transportation system. The Bureau of Governmental Research has written a detailed analysis of all those tax issues. Click here to read.