Some New Orleans candidates have election money; others almost broke | Local elections

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The coronavirus pandemic and the recovery from Hurricane Ida worries New Orleans more than the November 13 municipal election, and it shows in the anemic fundraising totals candidates reported this week.

Campaign finance reports filed Thursday show few candidates have the kind of war treasures that would be typical for a poll that includes mayor LaToya Cantrell’s candidacy for re-election and races for the seven city council seats. In total, the five dozen election candidates, including the municipal elections as well as the sheriff, the clerk of the criminal district court and the assessor, have raised only about $ 3.2 million since the start of the year. ‘year.

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That’s roughly the same amount Cantrell and Désirée Charbonnet raised on their own during the 2017 mayoral campaign.

Political consultant Karen Carvin Shachat, who does not work for any of the New Orleans candidates, said the coronavirus pandemic has reduced donations and the reduction in in-person events has made it harder for campaigns to reach donors for more money. On top of that, the August 29 hurricane, which pushed election day back by a month, meant few people had the election as their main concern.

“Most people don’t care or don’t care,” Shachat said. “They are inundated with taking care of their home repairs, running their businesses, having their garbage picked up.”

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The fundraising there has been focused on a handful of applicants, with Cantrell leading the pack. Yet totals remain a powerful indicator of candidates performing well in the final stage of their campaigns.

According to its campaign fundraising reports, Cantrell has raised $ 741,900 since the start of the year, adding to accounts that already had about $ 360,400 in previous fundraising. Even after spending more than three-quarters of a million dollars in 2021, mostly on staff and consultants, Cantrell still has around $ 342,000 on hand as she heads to the home stretch of the campaign.

That’s an order of magnitude more than its closest competitors in the race. Leilani Heno, who runs a personal training business, has made around $ 42,100 so far and spent about half of it, leaving him around $ 18,700. Gallerist and entrepreneur Vina Nguyen has raised about $ 39,300 and has about $ 8,200 left. No other candidate in the race made more than $ 5,000 in contributions.

After Cantrell, the biggest draws were reported in the race for an open seat on the board. Former State Senator JP Morrell raised $ 405,600 and City Council member Kristin Gisleson Palmer raised $ 386,987 in their increasingly heated competition. Palmer spent the money at a faster rate, however, putting $ 370,000 into his campaign versus $ 262,000 for Morrell.

Palmer still has about $ 37,500 in the bank. Morrell has $ 145,400.

Council member Jared Brossett, who partnered with Palmer to “support” each other in an attempt to slow Morrell’s rise, raised just $ 25,700 this year. But the remnants of money from past campaigns bring his bank account to $ 44,000. Bart Everson raised approximately $ 2,000.

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Council member Helena Moreno, candidate for re-election to the other extraordinary seat, raised $ 245,000 this year and has $ 190,274 left in her war chest. His only opponent, Kenneth Cutno, reports a negative balance on his campaign account.

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The cash flow from the council’s district races offers a glimpse of where the competition is likely to be the fiercest in the weeks to come.

In District A, incumbent Joe Giarrusso has a clear lead over his opponents, having raised nearly a quarter of a million dollars this year, with $ 228,000 still unspent. Amy Misko and Bob Murrell only raised a fraction of that amount, and neither of them have more than a few thousand dollars to spend.

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In District B, council member Jay Banks has two serious challengers in the fundraising tally. Lesli Harris, a lawyer, has brought in nearly $ 96,000 and still has $ 63,155 on hand. Banks only brought in $ 55,300 this year and only has about $ 500 left. Another challenger, Rella Zapatel, brought in around $ 24,000, but she also gave her campaign a boost with $ 200,000 of her own money.

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Freddie King III leads the seven-person field for the District C seat vacated by Palmer, with $ 105,000 raised to date. Combined with the $ 53,000 King loaned to his campaign, he has about $ 44,600 left, even after spending about $ 114,600.

His closest competitor is Alonzo Knox, who raised $ 46,400 and loaned $ 20,000 to his campaign. He has about $ 3,300 on hand. Barbara Waiters raised $ 17,200 in her campaign and has about $ 5,000 left. No other candidate in the field has raised more than $ 7,000.

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The race for the Brossett District D seat is packed with 14 candidates, but only a few have shown fundraising prowess.

Mariah Moore leads the field with nearly $ 55,000 raised and $ 25,000 still in the bank, followed by Tim Sams, who has brought in $ 40,400 and has about $ 6,900 left. Mark “Johari” Lawes is third, having raised $ 23,500 and – after a $ 50,000 loan to his campaign – has $ 51,600 in hand.

Eugene Green is the only other contestant in the race to raise more than $ 7,000. He has about $ 32,000 left after raising $ 14,000 and loaning $ 58,000 to his campaign.

With Jared Brossett, a limited term District D council member, leaving his seat to run for the open Division 2 General Council seat, a path …

In the District E race, council member Cyndi Nguyen fell behind in fundraising against former council member Oliver Thomas, the radio talk show host who ended up in jail after his last passage to the council. Thomas has made more than $ 193,000 since he announced his candidacy this summer. As of October 4, at the end of the last reporting period, he had spent only $ 45,000 on this transportation.

Nguyen raised around $ 59,000 and spent $ 14,000 from January to October. Another challenger, Michon Copelin, raised around $ 20,000 and spent $ 2,000, while John Bagneris, a former state official, raised around $ 13,000 and spent almost that much.

No report had been filed for the candidates Vanessa Gueringer Johnson, a community activist, or Aaron Miller, an educator and pastor at a public school.

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