NEW ORLEANS -- Attorney Jason Williams handily defeated long-time City Council member Cynthia Hedge-Morrell in a run-off for the at-large, Division 2 seat.
When the final votes were tallied, Williams had just about doubled Hedge-Morrell's totals.
Hedge-Morrell conceded the race to Williams right around 9 p.m.
"Clearly, the people they believed in the vision that we came up to move this city forward," Williams said after being declared the winner, "and that vision wasn't just crafted by myself -- it was crafted by the people, from every district, from every walk of life, from every race."
While Williams cruised to victory on election night, the run-off between Williams and Hedge-Morrell was hotly contested and particularly mean-spirited with both campaigns launching vicious barbs at one another.
Hedge-Morrell blamed low voter turnout for the loss. "They key precincts just weren't turning out. They weren't voting," she said, adding that districts in the Lower 9th Ward and New Orleans East that she done well in the general election turn out was substantially lower.
Williams ultimately was able to overcome Hedge-Morrell's experience on the City Council. She was elected as District D council member in a special election in April 2005 and then re-elected as a council member in April 2006 and again in Feb. 2010. Termed out of the District D seat, Hedge-Morell turned her sights on the at-large seat. Williams most recently ran an unsuccessful campaign for Orleans Parish district attorney in 2008.