The City Council at-large seat election is the subject of this week’s Commentary by Eyewitness News political analyst and Gambit columnist Clancy DuBos.
Clancy DuBos / Eyewitness News Political Analyst and Gambit Columnist
NEW ORLEANS -- Much has been said about the role that race played in Saturday’s election for New Orleans City Council.
I don’t deny that race was a factor, but I think that election was less about “white” versus “black” and more about “old” versus “new.”
Consider that Cynthia Willard-Lewis is a second-generation politician. Her dad was a school board member and one of her brothers is a judge. Her biggest supporter, Mayor Mitch Landrieu, also hails from an old political family. By any measure, Willard-Lewis got into politics — and stayed there — the old-fashioned way: through family connections.
Stacy Head is a first-generation politician — as are most of her fellow council members. Kristin Palmer started in the preservation movement, Susan Guidry as a neighborhood association president, and Jackie Clarkson as a real estate executive. State Rep. Austin Badon, who ran third in the primary before endorsing Head, also is a first-generation politician.
They and others represent a new breed of local politicians — people entering public service not through family or political connections, but on their own. That, as much as anything else, explains the outcome of Saturday’s election. And it says as much about the voters as it says about the candidates.
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