Dominic Massa / Eyewitness News
NEW ORLEANS – Qualifying opened Wednesday for statewide and local races on the Nov. 6 ballot, with four of the state's congressmen qualifying for re-election, along with candidates signing up for New Orleans City Council and school board races.
For a look at the candidates who qualify, log on to the Secretary of State’s web site.
Congressional redistricting should make for one of the more contentious races on the regional ballot, with a new 3rd ongressional district race expected to pit two Republican congressmen against each other – Jeff Landry and Charles Boustany. The redrawn district now includes parts of St. Charles, Lafourche and Terrebonne parishes, as well as much of southwestern Louisiana.
Republican Bryan Barrilleaux and Libertarian candidate Jim Stark, both of Lake Charles, also qualified in that race on the first day of qualifying.
The races in the other two local congressional districts will likely be much tamer, with incumbents Steve Scalise and Cedric Richmond both expected to seek re-election in what could be quiet races.
On the first day of qualifying, Scalise has so far drawn opposition from two opponents: Arden Wells and Gary King.
Democrat Rep. Cedric Richmond picked up a Republican challenger, political newcomer Josue Larose.
Some of the other more closely-watched races will be in Orleans Parish, with qualifying underway for two special elections for City Council. Candidates are signing up to run for the District B and District E seats. District B was vacated when Stacy Head was elected to an at-large post. District E opened up when Jon Johnson pleaded guilty to federal charges.
Several people have indicated their plans to run for the District E seat, which covers New Orleans East and the Ninth Ward. So far, state lawmaker Austin Badon (who lost the race to Johnson in 2010), attorneys James Gray and Dana Henry and activist Jerrelda Drummer-Sanders have qualified.
In qualifying for the District B seat, covering parts of Uptown and Central City, candidates include: Broadmoor community activist and neighborhood leader LaToya Cantrell; Dana Kaplan of the Juvenile Justice Project; and Eric Strachan, who has worked on the council staffs for Jackie Clarkson and Stacy Head. Cantrell and Strachan qualified Wednesday. Kaplan signed up on Thursday.
Orleans Parish School Board seats are also on the Nov. 6 ballot. Candidates will qualify for seats on the board which will receive even more scrutiny in the coming year, with several schools poised to return to local control after several years under the leadership of charters or the state’s Recovery School District.
There are also several judicial races on the metro area ballot. In Orleans Parish, candidates will run for a Criminal District Court judgeship, with Judge Lynda Van Davis’ announcement that she will be stepping down. Some Municipal Court and Traffic Court judgeships are also on the New Orleans ballot as well as Second City Court clerk and constable posts.
There are also several appeals court judgeships on the ballot, covering various local parishes along with a Public Service Commission seat, covering several parishes.
Jefferson Parish will see a judicial race as well, with candidates running to replace Judge Patrick McCabe, who announced his retirement.
On the north shore, Abita Springs voters will elect a new mayor, with candidates signing up to run for the post held by Louis Fitzmorris, who was elected St. Tammany Parish assessor.
Qualifying closes Friday afternoon.