Cantrell, Charbonnet headed for runoff in mayor’s race

NEW ORLEANS -- New Orleans City Councilwoman Latoya Cantrell and former Municipal Court Judge Desiree Charbonnet are headed to a runoff for the mayor's race.

Cantrell came out on top in the primary with 39 percent of the vote (32, 025 votes), while Charbonnet received 25, 028 votes, or 30 percent.

It was a crowded field of 18 candidates vying to replace term-limited Mayor Mitch Landrieu, with Michael Bagneris and Troy Henry coming in third and fourth place, respectively, in today's primary.

Cantrell grew up in Los Angeles and moved to New Orleans in 1990 to attend Xavier University. She got her start in local politics after Hurricane Katrina, when she led the Broadmoor Improvement Association.

She's been on the City Council since 2012.

"I'm not running to be the first of anything, but I'm running to be the best mayor of New Orleans," Cantrell said in her victory speech Saturday night.

Charbonnet was born and raised in New Orleans. She earned her bachelor's and law degrees from Loyola University and most recently served as chief judge of Municipal Court before she resigned to run for mayor.   Listen to Charbonnet's speech after finding out she'll be in the run-off election below.

Both candidates have made affordable housing, crime and NOPD reforms their biggest issues in the campaign.

Charbonnet led the polls early on, but Cantrell slipped ahead over the past few weeks after Charbonnet began publicly feuding with local businessman Sidney Torres. Torres launched a series of attacks against Charbonnet after she pulled out of a mayoral debate hosted by his VOICE Pac just hours before the debate started.

The race will be historic no matter who wins, as the winner will serve as the first ever woman mayor of New Orleans.