Cantrell Recall Collects Thousands of New Orleans Signatures Over The Weekend
More than 2,000 people turned out to sign the recall petition against New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell on Monday, according to the organizers behind the recall.
The petition has six months to collect roughly 53,000 signatures to get the recall election on the ballot. If the organizers' number holds up, that would mean they have around 50,000 signatures to go.
Those standing in line told reporters at Fox 8 News in New Orleans that crime was a major motivator in signing the petition.
Several people in line said they were most fed up with the city’s crime, and Cantrell’s recent support of a carjacker in juvenile court was the tipping point for many.
“As soon as she walked into that courtroom, she took sides,” said Lady Daboval. “You don’t take sides when it comes to that matter. You just bow out and you tell the family, ‘I’m sorry, I can’t do this.’”
“I wish it wouldn’t have come to this (recall effort),” said Sheila Simmons. “She shouldn’t have done that, because that was a victim on the other side as well. It was two sides.”
The organizers of the petition also say they've been getting threats and are being bullied over the petition. Beldin Batiste told WWL's Newell Norman "I have the right to demand better for my city."
The petition was filed on Friday in Baton Rouge, the Secretary of State's office confirmed. In Louisiana, a petition has 180 days to collect 20 percent of an electorate's legal signatures. Once the signatures are verified, the recall will head to the ballot, but Cantrell will have a chance to appeal.
If the recall is successful, a member of the New Orleans city council will fill in for Cantrell for at least a year until a special election can be called to officially replace her.
Cantrell isn't just dealing with blowback over crime, however, despite that being one of the most glaring issues during this term. Her office is dealing with blowback over an expensive trip overseas on taxpayer dime.
The bill is worse than it looks, though, according to NOLA.com. City of New Orleans policy does not allow for officials to upgrade travel reservations without paying the city back. Since January 2021, she has cost the city more than $29,000 in upgraded flight costs. The city's legal office is now reviewing the numbers.
Cantrell was last re-elected in November 2021. Her next election would be in 2025 if she survives the recall effort.