Voters want fresh faces on New Orleans City Council - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Voters want fresh faces on New Orleans City Council

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Voters took to the polls Saturday and with the exception of one race, they overwhelmingly decided, they wanted some new faces in New Orleans city government.

Jason Williams describes his race against council veteran Cynthia Hedge-Morrell saying, "We were going up against a political machine. Folks who've been running for office for years."

Williams won the run-off election 68 percent to 32 percent. UNO political scientist Ed Chervenak says, "He even defeated Council Member Hedge-Morrell in her own district by a two to one margin so a real significant victory for him."

Another council veteran, Jackie Clarkson, lost her bid for a new seat on the council, to retired Judge Nadine Ramsey. Having served 24 years in city government, Clarkson released a statement Saturday night saying she's going out in a blaze of glory.

"It's an indication that people are looking for change on the council they want some new, more independent voices on the council," said Chervenak.

Mayor Mitch Landrieu didn't endorse Ramsey or Williams. Ed Chervenak believes the people who cast ballots, were well aware of that fact. "I think what voters did was just send a message to the mayor. We like what you're doing but we want you to take into consideration other interests, other voices before you make a decision," said Chervenak.

The lone incumbent to win Saturday was Sheriff Marlin Gusman. He just narrowly missed winning re-election in the primary so it didn't come as a huge surprise to many that he was able to beat former Sheriff Charles Foti 67 percent to 33 percent.

Saturday night, Gusman addressed issues of lax security and problems with deputies at the jail saying, "We're going to work together every day to make this a better and a safer place, that's what we're going to do."

Some candidates elected Saturday, like Jason Williams, say there's no time to waste in implementing new ideas and strategies to their office. "I'd like to make every citizen in the City of New Orleans feel like they're getting real representation, that the things that are hurting them or obstacles that are in their way moving forward, I'd like to take those things down," said Williams.

Both Williams and Ramsey will be sworn in to their new positions on the council, in May.

Another big winner, Dr. Jeffrey Rouse who was elected the new coroner of Orleans Parish. Rouse just barely beat Dr. Dwight McKenna for the position. Rouse replaces Frank Minyard who held the position for 40 years.

In a statement, Rouse thanked the voters of Orleans Parish who are entrusting him with a sacred office. It says it's an honor.

We reached out to Nadine Ramsey for comment on this story but she didn't get back to us.

Copyright 2014 WVUE. All rights reserved.

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