NEW ORLEANS, La. (KPEL News) - The hype turned into a disappointing dismissal for people who were hoping a recall petition would be the first step in forcing New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell out of office. As KPEL News pointed out, $1.2 million was spent on efforts to recall Cantrell but organizers fell about 18,000 votes short of what was needed.

“There was a lot of sound and fury to this recall effort, but it appears they’re going to end with a whimper," said UNO political science professor Ed Chervenak in this Louisiana Radio Network article. They fell WELL short of the required number of signatures they needed.”

NoLaToya organizers are planning to challenge the recall results.

Mayor LaToya Cantrell
Office of the Mayor of New Orleans

During a press conference, Cantrell addressed the efforts by NoLaToya to oust her. According to this LRN article, she shared how grateful she is to those who stuck with her through the recall effort and expressed optimism that everyone will be able to move forward and "stay focused" so everyone can "do the business of the City of New Orleans."

It’s not Democrat or Republican, I’m here to serve and I serve everyone. I will always listen. Create consensus and balances. I’ll do everything I can do for those who signed the petition and definitely for those who did not."

Despite being the first Black woman to be elected mayor of the city - then re-elected in 2022 - Cantrell's popularity has nosedived among a myriad of complaints against her. Days before the signatures were due to be turned in, Cantrell was caught making an obscene gesture at a Mardi Gras parade.

It's hard to recall elected officials in Louisiana. As points out, it takes signatures from one-third of registered voters to even get a recall election. Then, the citizens can vote 'Yes' or 'No' to whether that recalled official can stay in office. In Jefferson and St. Tammany Parishes, for instance, recall efforts failed against two elected officials who eventually went to prison on corruption charges.

As for Cantrell, she still sits under a cloud of suspected wrongdoings as Lee Zurik at WVUE continues to investigate the alleged inappropriate relationship between Cantrell and one of her security guards.

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