Cantrell says a weight has been lifted after recall effort failed

Registrar Sandra Wilson says it was a labor-intensive process to get the signatures certified ahead of the deadline
Published: Mar. 22, 2023 at 11:06 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Mayor Latoya Cantrell addressed members of the media face-to-face on Wednesday (March 22) about the recall effort against her failing. “Through it all, it’s been focusing on doing the work. What I will say is a huge thank you. I huge thank you to residents who understood that work was being done but also wanted to see the work continue throughout my administration,” said Cantrell.

She also applauded city workers for continuing to do their jobs amid the recall effort.

“Who listened quite frankly to my call to action to stay focused; to do not be distracted or deterred by any of the foolishness and everything that’s being coming at me directly and around me but we’re also impacted by it,” said Cantrell.

She waited months to learn if she would face a recall election.

“Clearly, a weight lifted no doubt about that but is evident is that there’s been intentional orchestration to discredit me and in my role as mayor of the city of New Orleans. I do not expect that to stop, I don’t because it’s been very clear that it’s coming from multiple sides and angles. Individuals who are elected officials and those who are not,” said Cantrell.

Mike Sherman is FOX 8′s political analyst says a lot will depend on how Cantrell chooses to move forward.

“The mayor’s got a really important choice to make. Does she try to press the reset button now that the recall has failed and try to be a unifying figure, reach across the line to work with the council which is what she’s trying to do with this early message or does she harbor any anger and have people for her and against her and lead a divided city,” said Sherman.

He said the recall efforts failure will not necessarily change residents’ opinions of Cantrell.

“I don’t think this changes how people feel about the mayor. If they approved of her yesterday, they approve of her today. If they disapproved of yesterday, they disapprove of her today,” he Sherman said.

New Orleans registrar Sandra Wilson, Ph.D. certified 27,000 signatures. The recall effort needed over 40,000 to force a recall election against Cantrell.

Wilson told FOX 8 it was a labor-intensive process to get the signatures certified ahead of the deadline while preparing for early voting for another election, but her small staffed worked as a team to get the work done.

Cantrell says she is ready to work with critics and supporters.

“I am eager and willing and happy to work with anyone who wants to move the city of New Orleans forward,” said Cantrell.

Sherman said, “One of the first reactions after the recall failed was two council members, Oliver Thomas and Eugene Green reaching out to the mayor, saying let’s press the reset button, the mayor has reciprocated in words. Only time will tell if this is truly a reset.”

Cantrell is not halting her legal challenge to the deal reached between the recall leaders and La. Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin to lower the number of signatures required to force a recall election against Cantrell.

“There’s work for us to do and that’s why the lawsuits will continue to advance because it’s not about me, it really is about democracy in this not only city but in this state,” said Cantrell during her press conference.

She is also writing a book.

“I don’t know the title but I have a lot of chapters and I think the most recent would be Recall, you know, but it’s rooted and grounded in doing the work,” said Cantrell.

Recall leaders said they were exploring all legal options after most of the signatures they submitted by not certified as valid. But Blake Arcuri, an attorney for the recall leaders, said in a text message Wednesday evening that nothing had been filed on their behalf.

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