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'Divisive, dishonest' | Cantrell Campaign calls out failed recall petition

Gov. John Bel Edwards announced earlier Tuesday that the recall only had 27,243 valid signatures, well short of the nearly 45,000 names needed.

NEW ORLEANS — Mayor LaToya Cantrell's campaign office says they're "grateful that the truth has finally come out" after the petition to recall her from office fell several thousand votes short.

Cantrell's long-time campaign manager Maggie Carroll put out a statement calling the petition against the mayor "divisive, dishonest, and opaque to the say the least."

“We are grateful that the truth has finally come out, that the effort to recall Mayor LaToya Cantrell never had enough signatures. The Mayor’s campaign fully respects the democratic process and has spent nothing to stop the process," Carroll said. "Our concern remains: voting rights continue to be threatened, as we saw with the backroom deal to disenfranchise thousands of New Orleans voters in order to move the goalposts at the behest of an almost singular Republican donor. The recall campaign has been divisive, dishonest, and opaque to say the least. It’s time for New Orleanians to better our city in the way we do best - by coming together.” 

Gov. John Bel Edwards announced earlier Tuesday that the recall only had 27,243 valid signatures, well short of the nearly 45,000 names needed to force a referendum on Mayor Cantrell.

According to the Gov. Edwards, the recall petition contained 67,022 handwritten signatures, but only 27,243 of them were valid signatures from qualified electors.

Mayor Cantrell put out a statement Tuesday afternoon saying that her focus has been, and remains, on moving the city forward.

“My administration has always remained focused on addressing the real pressing issues that face our City. Now, with the divisiveness of the failed recall campaign officially behind us, we must heal and recommit ourselves to working collaboratively to continue the progress we’ve made towards reducing crime, increasing public safety, building a more sustainable and resilient city and creating economic and job opportunities that benefit all of our people," Cantrell said.

"As a former member of the New Orleans City Council and a twice-elected mayor, I have always respected and believed deeply in the democratic process. The right of the people to use their voice to express concerns are hallmarks of a strong, functioning democracy. New Orleans is a strong community that continues to make meaningful progress each day. I’d like to express my deepest gratitude to the residents of New Orleans for trusting in my leadership and believing that, for New Orleans, the best is truly yet to come."

Mayor Cantrell's campaign has painted the recall effort as a highly partisan effort meant to disenfranchise New Orleans voters, often pointing to the roughly $1 million put into the campaign by one prominent GOP donor.

The NOLAtoya campaign has fired back, pointing to their support from voters from both major parties and that the donor in question, Rick Farrell, actually donated to Cantrell's campaign.

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