African American Woman elected as New Orleans Elects First Female Mayor


According to a report on, New Orleans mayors have typically come from families with political pedigree. They have well established ties to the civic and business community. The great majority have claimed native roots.

LaToya Cantrell, on the other hand, is a relative newcomer to the public arena. She is the first outsider elected to the office since Chicago-born Victor Schiro in 1961. Before her election as the District B representative in 2012, Cantrell’s community visibility was limited to Broadmoor, where she led a nonprofit that expedited the neighborhood’s recovery after Hurricane Katrina.

That being said, the 45-year-old mayor-elect can rightfully claim Crescent City bona fides. She has been in New Orleans since relocating from Los Angeles in 1990 to attend Xavier University, where she earned a sociology degree. But little is known about what steered her to politics and her formative years in California.

On Saturday’s election, which she claimed with 60 percent of the vote. The Democrat will succeed term-limited fellow Democrat Mitch Landrieu as the city celebrates its 300th anniversary next year.

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