NEW ORLEANS, La - The mayoral race heats up with two female candidates hoping to come out on top. City Councilwoman, Latoya Cantrell, and former Municipal Judge, Desiree Charbonnet, will face-off in the November 18 runoff.
The race for New Orleans mayor was historic last Saturday as two women came out on top.
"We realize that men can represent women policies and family policies," said League of Women Voters, New Orleans President, Rosalind Blanco Cooks. "But it really is very important for young girls to see that a woman can achieve this position."
Cantrell finished with 39 percent of the vote. Close behind was Charbonnet with 30 percent. Now it all comes down to the runoff because that winner will make history again, becoming the city's first-ever female mayor.
"Yes it's a big deal, the glass ceiling for women politicians has been shattered by having two candidates in the runoff for mayor who happen to be female," said WWL Political Analyst, Clancy DuBos. "But you know what? At the end of the day, what matters more is not their gender, but their effectiveness."
These two candidates are not outsiders in the world of politics since they both have political and campaign experience as well as political knowledge. The top issues for both women include crime, drainage, and affordable housing. However, on display Saturday night was their campaign style which differs.
"Their election night speeches were very, very different," said DuBos. "Cantrell's was kind of like a revival tent, and Charbonnet was kind of like a coffee party almost sedated. I think they both will be refining their messages and fine-tuning their sales pitches. It'll be an interesting runoff it'll be historic no matter what."
The runoff is November 18th which means from now until then these two candidates will be hard at work trying to gain as much support as they can. However, it's important each does so without error.
"Each candidate has to go back out and get all the votes she got on Saturday and they have to then reach out to the voters who cast ballots for Mike Bagneris, Troy Henry, and other candidates. They can't skip any debates, they can't have flubs, they can't have major flip flops, they can't have any meltdowns on television."
With less than five weeks until votes are cast, it's not necessarily how these two candidates started, it's more how they'll finish.
"Certainly the personalities are quite different, but both of them have the qualifications to do, I believe, an excellent job as mayor," said Blanco Cooks.
Charbonnet, originally from New Orleans, and Cantrell, who grew up in Los Angeles, have agreed to attend a debate hosted by the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana. It's called "Flood Risk and Adapting to Coastal and Environmental Change" and takes place Wednesday October 25th from 7:30-8:30pm. It'll be held at Lupin Hall on the campus of NOCCA, 2800 Chartres Street, New Orleans.