Residents weigh in on expectations for Mayor-elect LaToya Cantrell

Residents weigh in on expectations for Mayor-elect LaToya Cantrell

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - It's official. Latoya Cantrell will become New Orleans' first female mayor.

Yet, the hard part is far from over, as Cantrell faces a number of issues plaguing the city.

After nearly 300 years, New Orleans will have a female mayor.

"I'm just, I'm taking it all in. This is a very historic moment," said Mayor-elect Cantrell.

While many believe Cantrell's win is a sign of progress, locals are also are waiting to see what progress she makes in office.

"We still have to watch politicians as politicians. I feel like male or female, those stereotypes are kind of in the past. We need to trust that a woman has just as much power and decision-making as a man but, also, the same liabilities for corruption," said local David Johnson.

While FOX 8 Political Analyst Mike Sherman says the city has already seen a number of women in positions of power and doesn't believe Cantrell's gender will play a role in her governance, others are hopeful a woman's touch will be just what New Orleans needs.

"Maybe women have a little more heart than men do, sometimes, and New Orleans does need to be handled with a little tender love and care," said New Orleans resident Nikki Gilbert.

The night of her big win, Cantrell acknowledged her actions will speak far louder than her words.

"This is our opportunity to ensure that we all move in the right direction. When I move, you move and that's going to be my strategy," said Cantrell.

Already, Sherman says Cantrell has the upper hand. She was elected with broad support from much of the city. Plus, unlike most mayor elects who only have two months to prepare, Cantrell has close to six months.

"This is going to give Mayor-elect Cantrell a huge advantage of her previous mayors. She has more time to get her team just write it, to get that team prepared to take office, hitting the ground running. And she still gets to keep relevance, not just as mayor-elect but as a sitting member of the council," explained Sherman.

Though her opponent, Desiree Charbonnet, says she isn't ruling out another run at public office, she says she's excited to help get New Orleans on the right track, alongside Cantrell.

"She even offered for me to participate in terms of moving the city forward," said Charbonnet. "I want Ms. Cantrell to do well. I'm very sincere about that. If she does well, the city does well."

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