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by Anitra D. Brown
The New Orleans Tribune

New Orleanians will have some decisions to make in the upcoming municipal primary election set for Oct. 9, having to choose between 73 candidates across 13 races.

Orleans Parish Coroner Dr. Dwight McKenna is the only incumbent that did not attract any challengers, while Mayor LaToya Cantrell will face 13 in her bid to lead the City another four years.

Among Cantrell’s challengers are a long list of largely political newcomers or perennial candidates including Independents Joseph Amato, Douglas Bentley I, Matthew Hill and Nathaniel Jones; Democrats Eldon Delloyd “El’ Anderson, Belden “Noonie Man” Batiste, Luke Fontana and Johnese Lamar Smith; and lone Republican Vina Nguyen.  Several candidates with no party affiliation are also in the race, including Manuel “Chevrolet” Bruno, Byron Stephan Cole, Leilani Heno and Reginald Merchant.

Sheriff Marlin Gusman will face four in his bid to remain in office, including former Independent Police Monitor Susan Hutson, along with Quentin R. Brown Jr, Janey Hays and Christopher Williams.

Yiesha McFarland is challenging Civil District Court Clerk Chelsey Richard Napoleon for the seat, while Fist City Clerk Austin Badon, Patricia Boyd Robertson and Second City Clerk Darren Lombard are facing off to determine who will replace the Criminal District Court Clerk Arthur Morrell who will retire at the end of his term.

Four contenders have challenged Assessor Erroll Williams. Anthony Brown, Andrew Gressett, Carlos Hornbrook and Gregory “Greg” Lirette are each vying to become Orleans Parish’s next tax collector.

District A City Councilman Joseph “Joe” Giarrusso III will have to defend his seat against two challengers, Amy Misko and Robert “Bob” Murrell, in his effort to serve another term. 

District B Councilman Jay Banks drew challenges form Lesli Harris, Timothy David Ray, Rosalind “Roz” Reed-Thibodeaux and Rella Zapletal, in his bid for a second term.

With no incumbent in either field, the City Council District C and D races drew a significant number of qualifiers. 

Seven are vying to become the next representative for the Council’s District C seat, including Stephanie Bridges, Freddie King III, Alonzo Knox, Vincent Milligan, Stephen Mosgrove, “Frank” Perez and Barbara Waiters.

And twice as many have thrown their hats into the race for District D. They are: Chelsea Ardoin, Chantrisse Burnett, Morgan Clevenger, Anthony Doby, Troy Glover, Eugene Green, Kevin Griffin-Clark, Mark “Johari” Lawes, Mariah Moore, Robert :Bob” Murray, Keith “KP” Parker, Timolynn “Tim” Sams, Dulaine Troy Vining, and Kourtney Youngblood.

District E City Councilwoman Cyndi Nguyen will have to stave off five challengers to hold on to her seat. In addition to former Oliver Thomas, a former member of the Council who stepped down from his job as a morning show host on WBOK 1230 AM to run for City Council, Nguyen will face John Bagneris, Michon Copelin, Vanessa “Gueringer” Johnson, and Aaron Miller.

Both District D Councilman Jared Brossett, who is term-limited from running for that seat again, and District C Councilwoman Kristen Palmer qualified to run for the At-Large District 2 seat. Others in that race include former state Sen. J.P. Morrell and Green Party candidate Bart Everson. 

Current At-large District 1 City Councilwoman Helena Moreno will face two other Democrats, Kenneth Cutno and David Novak as she seeks a second term.

Important deadlines for the Oct. 9 election are Sept. 8, which is the last day to register to vote by mail or in person; Sept. 18, the last day to register to vote online through the geauxvote.com portal; Oct. 5 the last day to request an absentee ballot and Oct. 8, the last day to return completed absentee ballots to the registrar of voters office.

Early voting for the Oct. 9 race will take place Sept. 25 through Oct. 2 from 8:30 a.m. until 6 p.m. (daily, with the exception of Sundays and holidays).