New Orleans Dodges A Bullet; Karen Carter Peterson Demurs From Mayoral Run

Karen Carter Peterson, the rudest and arguably most left-wing member of the Louisiana state senate, has sworn off a campaign for mayor of New Orleans this fall, according to New Orleans’ Gambit Weekly – the publication which over the weekend raised the possibility of her running.

Peterson announced her decision on Facebook today. Here was the message she sent out…

Friends, I wanted to let you know first:

After careful consideration, I have decided not to become a candidate for Mayor of the City of New Orleans.

I am thankful for the continued support and confidence expressed by so many citizens of our great City. I’m honored by the trust voters have bestowed on me and plan to continue my public service in the Louisiana Senate, focusing on important issues of access to affordable healthcare, equity in public education, voting rights, and criminal justice reform.

As New Orleans Tricentennial anniversary nears, the city is well-poised to reclaim its position as a regional economic powerhouse and continue as a leading international destination, all attributed to the uniqueness of our culture and diversity, and the resilience and grit of its people.

However, we must re-commit ourselves to ensuring that more of our citizens are poised to share fully in the city’s success. With public safety, neighborhood revitalization, and increased economic opportunity for all at the forefront of voters concerns, the next mayor must offer bold solutions to these systemic problems.

The citizens of New Orleans are ready for great things and I am committed to working with the next Mayor to deliver on the promise of an even brighter future for New Orleans.

Needless to say, a New Orleans mayoral race without Karen Carter Peterson in it is a better New Orleans mayoral race. Most of the people you’d talk to with a finger on the electoral pulse in that city would tell you she’d have a good chance of winning – with the largest potential problem being that Peterson and City Councilwoman Latoya Cantrell share the same base of support in Central City, so there would be the possibility of the two canceling each other out and allowing Michael Bagneris and Denise Charbonnet to make the runoff. What is more likely is Cantrell would end up dropping out and supporting Peterson, but it seems instead that Peterson is effectively dropping out and supporting Cantrell.

We’ve not seen such an endorsement so far, but that doesn’t mean one isn’t coming. Peterson is the chair of the state Democrat Party; don’t think for one second she isn’t going to try to influence that mayor’s race if she’s not running in it.

There is still no evidence any of the candidates in that race with a chance to win represent other than a leadership disaster in the making. But of all conceivable candidates Peterson was the one who offered the surest path to destruction. Let’s call her decision not to run a victory, if a small one.

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