State Senators Troy Carter and Karen Carter Peterson have already announced their candidacies, while New Orleans City Councilwoman Helena Moreno ends speculation with a statement saying she will not run for the seat.

While New Orleans City Council President Helena Moreno issued a statement announcing that she will not enter the race for the 2nd Congressional District seat, others considering a run still have until next week to decide whether they will vie for the seat — one of two congressional seats that will be up for grabs in Louisiana in March.

A special election to fill the remainder of Cedric Richmond’s term will be held on March 20. So far, state Sen. Troy Carter and state Sen. Karen Carter Peterson have announced their intent to run for the seat. Qualifying for the race takes place Jan. 20-22.

“Over the past several weeks, I have searched for the right answer on whether to run in the upcoming election for the 2nd Congressional District to replace Rep. Cedric Richmond. I have also felt and appreciate the overwhelming encouragement and support from people across our community to take this step,” Moreno said in her statement. “I know that I would fight hard to deliver real results for our district and it would truly be an honor to represent our city and district in Congress. But after much prayer and reflection, it is clear to me that my true calling now is here, at home, serving the city of New Orleans as your City Council President.

The seat has been left vacant by outgoing Richmond, who recently resigned just after being re-elected to a fifth term to serve as a senior advisor to President-Elect Joe Biden.

Voters in Louisiana’s 5th Congressional District, which includes much of the northeast portion of the state, will also be choosing a new representative in March, following the death of Congressman-Elect Luke Letlow from COVID-19.

The 2nd Congressional District encompasses much of New Orleans and a portion of Jefferson Parish then meanders west through parts of St. Charles, St. John the Baptist, St. James, Assumption, Ascension and Iberville parishes before snaking north to capture part of Baton Rouge.

It is the state’s only predominantly Black congressional district. Though it is home to both the Port of New Orleans and the Port of Baton Rouge, the district often has the highest unemployment rate in the state while ranking at the bottom for median income and graduation rate –- making issues around jobs, economic development, and parity, living wages and quality educational opportunities critical ones on which its next representative ought to focus.

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