Qualifying for the New Orleans mayoral race begins Wednesday and incumbent Latoya Cantrell appears to be in a strong position to get elected to a second and final term.

Political analyst Clancy DuBos said Cantrell has raised 1.6 million dollars, has about $600,000 on hand, and has an approval rating last polled in the 60s. Because of that, he doubts a major challenger will run against her.

“If someone with citywide recognition and a big war chest were thinking about it I think that person would have stepped forward by now,” said DuBos. “It is very difficult to defeat an incumbent at any level unless that incumbent is seriously wounded.”

Louisiana incumbents tend to have an easy time getting reelection, as evidenced by US Senator Bill Cassidy’s breeze to reelection last year. DuBos said that pattern is even more pronounced in New Orleans.

“Our city charter has been in effect since 1954 and no incumbent mayor has ever lost a bid for reelection,” said DuBos.

Some outside of the city might be surprised to hear this given much of the noise last year about tensions over Cantrell’s strictest-in-the-state COVID public health restrictions, but DuBos said that frustration wasn’t shared by most city residents.

“She received a lot of push back from the business community, but the citizens, by and large, gave her very high marks for her handling of the pandemic,” said DuBos who noted Cantrell is likely most vulnerable on issues like crime and trash pickup.

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