New Orleans welcomes first female mayor

2017-11-20 05:47
LaToya Cantrell hugs her daughter as she celebrates her victory in the New Orleans mayoral election. (Michael DeMocke, AP

LaToya Cantrell hugs her daughter as she celebrates her victory in the New Orleans mayoral election. (Michael DeMocke, AP

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Washington - New Orleans has elected its first female mayor in its nearly 300-year history, a city council member who helped her neighbourhood recover from Hurricane Katrina's devastation.

LaToya Cantrell received a strong mandate of 60% of the vote, local media reported, in a race that pitted her against another woman, former judge Desiree Charbonnet.

"The celebration continues! I can't thank everyone who helped us get here enough!" Cantrell, 45, said.

She pledged to "lead with integrity" and be a voice for everyone, whomever they voted for in the city whose spicy cuisine and jazz clubs are major tourist draws.

Current mayor Mitch Landrieu also offered his congratulations to Cantrell, "the mayor-elect".

City recover

Cantrell joins a select group of women heading large American cities.

In 2016, about 19% of mayors were female in United States communities with populations larger than 30 000, according to the Centre for American Women and Politics at Rutgers university.

Cantrell is a relative newcomer to elected office, having won a council seat in 2012 after her work with a neighbourhood non-profit group that helped the city recover in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

The deadliest storm in US history, Katrina pounded the southern states of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama in 2005, leading to some 1 800 deaths and inflicting more than $150bn worth of damage.

Read more on:    us  |  equality

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