Cantrell recall effort steps up signing events over Labor Day weekend

Published: Sep. 3, 2022 at 1:26 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 3, 2022 at 10:48 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Citizens lined up at locations around the city Saturday (Sept. 3) to add their signatures to a petition effort aimed at forcing a recall election for New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell.

Signing events were staged Saturday in Carrollton, Algiers and New Orleans East. More signing tables are scheduled to appear Sunday in Mid-City and Lakeview, according to the website

“I’m not happy with the direction the city is going,” said New Orleans East resident Dennis Morgan. “I just feel something needs to change.”

Ryan and Amy Smelley said they’re worried about the crime rate in the city as they try to raise a family with their young son, and said they believe not enough is being done by the current administration.

“We want to raise a family in New Orleans. We don’t want to move outside of the city, we love the city,” said Ryan Smelley.

“Her COVID response was too heavy-handed, I thought,” said Uptown resident Paul Martin. “She pushed too many businesses down and out.”

Juanita Curruth is a mother and New Orleans East resident who organized one of the events.

“This isn’t about Democrat or Republican,” said Curruth. “It’s also not about black and white.

“I’m a black woman. And I’m out here trying to raise my family and do what it is that we need to do to make sure that our community comes together. So all this rhetoric with the mayor, it doesn’t make sense and it’s divisive.”

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An official petition to recall Mayor LaToya Cantrell has been filed

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The petition drive was registered Aug. 26 with the Louisiana Secretary of State’s office, by Cantrell’s former social media manager Eileen Carter and former mayoral candidate Belden “Noonie Man” Batiste.

Cantrell has not commented publicly on the recall effort, but her campaign aide Maggie Carroll last Tuesday labeled the effort a “Republican-backed maneuver by people with an agenda.” Carroll produced no evidence to back that claim, and Carter called the characterization a lie.

According to state law, organizers have until Feb. 22 to get nearly 54,000 signatures from registered Orleans Parish voters.

Residents lined up to sign the petition Saturday said that even if the recall effort falls short, they hope it sends a strong message.

“It’s time to do your job,” Carruth said. “If you don’t do your job, you don’t have to go home but you have to get the heck out of here.”

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