NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — Today in Civil District Court the exercise of democracy was at work in hearing challenges to candidates running in this year’s general election. Current Clerk of Criminal District Court Arthur Morrell stated that this is a normal course of how elections work.
According to Morrell, “If someone out there sees a person qualified that shouldn’t run, they file a challenge.”
A challenge can include residency, lack of qualification or failing to file taxes. Anne Zoller Kiefer is challenging the candidacy of Darren Lombard who’s running for Morrell’s seat.
Kiefer said, “I love New Orleans and I want to make sure whoever runs for office and who’s elected to office are people of good character, good moral fiber, and I believe in the process.”
Lombard, who’s currently elected as the Clerk of 2nd City Court, failed to submit a campaign finance report, as required and according to Kiefer, didn’t disclose this information upon qualification. Lombard sees the challenge for what he calls a filing discrepancy as politically motivated.
“It’s motivated because some of my opponents may want to just see me out of the race completely,” said Lombard.
There are a total of 6 challenges being heard this week and Morrell says that most are unsuccessful.
According to Morrell, “90% of them are not because the judges are very lenient, where if it’s not serious enough the judges usually let the people decide who they want to represent them.”
Monday afternoon, Judge Kern Reese ruled in favor of Darren Lombard and he will remain in the Clerk of Criminal District Court race. Meanwhile, in 2 other cases, Judge Ellen Hazuer issued disqualifications for both Greg Lirette the assessor’s race and David Nowak in the city council at-large races.
3 additional cases will be heard tomorrow.