NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell has spoken out after word broke Tuesday that an effort to remove her from office did not meet state requirements.

“As a former member of the New Orleans City Council and a twice-elected mayor, I have always respected and believed deeply in the democratic process,” the mayor said in a statement. “The right of the people to use their voice to express concerns are hallmarks of a strong, functioning democracy. New Orleans is a strong community that continues to make meaningful progress each day. I’d like to express my deepest gratitude to the residents of New Orleans for trusting in my leadership and believing that, for New Orleans, the best is truly yet to come.”

“We are grateful that the truth has finally come out, that the effort to recall [Mayor Cantrell] never had enough signatures. The Mayor’s campaign fully respects the democratic process and has spent nothing to stop the process,” LaToyaForNOLA campaign aide Maggie Carroll tweeted.

This comes after the certified recall documents arrived at Governor John Bel Edwards’ Office Tuesday morning, with the Governor later confirming the NOLATOYA petition had 27,243 signatures, falling way short of the roughly 45,000 needed to trigger a recall election.

“Our concern remains: voting rights continue to be threatened, as we saw with the backroom deal to disenfranchise thousands of New Orleans voters in order to move the goalposts at the behest of an almost singular Republican donor. The recall campaign has been divisive, dishonest, and opaque to say the least. It’s time for New Orleanians to better our city in the way we do best – by coming together.”

Organizers with the NOLATOYA recall effort say despite the Governor determining that the signature count was missed, they plan to challenge those results.

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