NEW ORLEANS -- The mayoral race for the City of New Orleans is this Saturday, so International High School decided to hold a mock debate and election.
Councilwoman Latoya Cantrell's student candidate was the winner with 51 percent of the vote. Judge Desiree Charbonnet's candidate came up a little short.
Senior Dajonik Bickham represented City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell and Sophomore Jade Martin represented Judge Desiree Charbonnet in a lively 20-minute debate. The student candidates have been shadowing the actual mayoral candidates for weeks now -- attending forums, visiting their campaign headquarters and actually getting the candidates personal cell phones if they had questions.
"They plan on making a lot of different changes with our crime rate, the infrastructure, our school system. It’s been really interesting learning about all the different issues and it’s important for us to do this because we are the future," said Bickham.
"Really figuring out what’re the issues of New Orleans and what they plan to change with the Sewerage and Water Board, affordable housing and all the different type of issues that we have in New Orleans which are a big problem. Once we get older we need to learn who we should vote for and the importance of voting," said Martin.
Judge Charbonnet actually came out Wednesday morning for the beginning of that debate. Councilwoman Cantrell came out to a debate and mock election held in October. Judge Charbonnet and a representative for Councilwoman Cantrell spoke to the group of students before the election briefly about their platforms.
After the debate, students voted on laptops and smartphones, then the candidates gave their victory and concession speeches.
IHSNO was the only school to hold a mock mayoral election in early October, and the results turned out to be right on the money when the official results came in on the night of October 14th! School officials say the school's 500 students represent a broad and diverse base from all New Orleans neighborhoods, and they say that may have played a factor in the accuracy of the student voting.
Here's the results from October's mock mayoral election:
IHSNO Mock Mayoral Election October 11, 2017
Cantrell 44% Charbonnet 37% Bagneris 18%
Mayoral Election Octobber 14, 2017
Cantrell 39% Charbonnet 30% Bagneris 19%