NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — One of the top elections on Saturday’s radar is the race for Orleans Parish Sheriff. Incumbent Sheriff Marlin Gusman is taking on former police monitor Susan Hutson.
Gusman has held his position for 17 years, but in the November primaries, Hutson forced him into Saturday’s runoff. Gusman took 48% of the vote while Hutson had 35%.
Because neither candidate reached 50%, here we are today.
Hutson is running as a progressive candidate in this race and received an endorsement from Orleans Parish District Attorney Jason Williams.
A former police monitor, Hutson has no political experience but says it’s time for a change and she focuses on the three C’s ideology: care, custody, and control.
While Gusman wants a new jail to house inmates with mental health issues, Hutson wants to focus on reforming the current jail and fears that building a new jail will result in more inmates.
The Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office has been under a federal consent decree since 2013, and Hutson believes she can improve the condition of the jail and its everyday operations.
If Hutson wins tonight — she will be the first female sheriff in Orleans Parish and the first female sheriff to serve in Louisiana for the first time in nearly 100 years.
Hutson’s watch party kicks off at 8 p.m. at Clesi’s on Bienville, and we’ll be there keeping an eye on the race as the numbers come in.