State Officials Reviewing New Orleans Council Race

Apr 24, 2012

The Secretary of State’s Office is checking results of the race for one of two at-large seats on the New Orleans City Council. Experts don’t expect the review will the change the result.

University of New Orleans political science professor Ed Chervenak says Councilwoman Stacy Head can expect to keep her slim majority. She’ll move from representing District B to become one of two representatives of the entire city.  Unofficially, Head received 281 more votes than former Councilwoman Cynthia Willard-Lewis from the 55,000 ballots cast. Chervenak says the state expects to certify results by noon Thursday.

“Given the fact that voting here is computerized, that it’ll be hard to find error that would be able to overturn that. And conversely, you even may find error in Stacy Head’s favor that will increase the gap.” 

Chervenak says the election reflects voters’ support for change in how the city operates in the recovery from Hurricane Katrina.

“This was a contest of contrasts between Stacy Head, who emerged as a candidate after Katrina, advocating reform and accountability in government, while Cynthia Willard-Lewis was a hold-over from the pre-Katrina era. So voters had a choice and they wanted to continue with reform.”  

Once Head takes the at-large seat, the council will review candidates to represent District B until an election is held.