New Orleans midterms fill vacant Senate seat and push longtime Public Service Commissioner into runoff


J. Scott Applewhite/ AP Photo

The Capitol is seen as Congress resumes following a long break and the midterm elections, in Washington, early Monday, Nov. 14, 2022. The Environmental Protection Agency has declared a new rule reducing toxic emissions.

Patrick Hamilton, Design Chief

New Orleans residents voted on ten elections, eight constitutional amendments, and one parishwide home rule charter in this year’s midterm elections. 

In the Senate, incumbent Republican John Kennedy won his first re-election campaign with 62% of the vote. Kennedy faced off against a crowded field of twelve other candidates which included two high profile Democratic challengers, Gary Chambers and Luke Mixon.

In Congress, incumbent Republican Steve Scalise won Louisiana’s first Congressional district, paving the way for his eighth consecutive term in office. Louisiana’s first Congressional district only includes 12.5% of Orleans Parish residents. Incumbent Democrat Troy Carter won his first full term in Louisiana’s second Congressional district which includes 87.5% of Orleans Parish. Carter won a special election last year to fill a vacancy. Incumbents won all of Louisiana’s six Congressional districts this midterm cycle, sending five Republicans and one Democrat to the House of Representatives. 

In the State Senate, Democrat Royce Duplessis won against his Democratic challenger Mandie Landry to fill the vacant District Five seat after former State Senator Karen Carter-Peterson’s sudden resignation due to indictment last year. Duplessis won with 53% of the total vote and secured a large margin of victory in Jefferson parish with 76% of the votes.

District One School Board Member, Democrat Leila Eames won the school board special election with 63% of the vote. Eames has served as the interim-school board member from district one since 2021 after her predecessor resigned. Eames previously worked in New Orleans Public Schools for 33 years as a teacher and administrator and will oversee 13 schools in her position.

Three judicial seats were on the ballot: two Municipal Court elections, and one 4th Circuit Court of Appeals election. 

In the Municipal and Traffic Court Division D, Judge Mark Shea won re-election against attorney Derek Russ. Judge Shea has served as a Municipal and Traffic Court judge since 2009. Shea won with 56% of the vote. In Municipal and Traffic Court Division E, Bobbie Smith, a longtime public defender, won his race against Geoffrey Gates, a longtime local prosecutor. Smith won with 54% of the vote and had received endorsements from local politicians like Councilman Joe Giarusso, District Attorney Jason Williams, and Representative Troy Carter. The Municipal and Traffic Court manages traffic violation cases and other misdemeanor offenses like theft, battery, and drunk driving. 

In the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, Judge Karen Herman won with 63% of the vote. Judge Herman currently serves on the Orleans Parish Criminal District Court. Herman previously served as the first executive director of Court Watch NOLA, a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing greater transparency to criminal courts. Herman began her career in the District Attorney’s office and worked as a prosecutor for five years. The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals handles all criminal court appeals across Orleans, Plaquemines, and St. Bernard parishes. 

In the Clerk of First City Court election, Democrat Donna Glapion defeated incumbent Democrat Austin Badon with 60% of the vote. The clerk is in charge of filing civil lawsuits, maintaining records, and overseeing property evictions. Badon served in the Louisiana House of Representatives from 2004 to 2016. Last year Badon launched an unsuccessful campaign for Orleans Parish Criminal Court Clerk, losing against Darren Lombard. Glapion previously worked for Darren Lombard and also served as the clerk for the Second City Court. 

The District 3 Public Service Commissioner election will head to a runoff Dec. 10, 2022 as incumbent Lambert Boissiere did not secure a majority of the vote which is required to win elected office in Louisiana. Boissiere, who won 49% of the vote, will face off against Davante Lewis, who won 19% of the vote. Boissiere has held the position since 2005 and won unopposed last election. The Public Service Commission is responsible for keeping public utilities, like gas, electricity, water, heat, and telecommunications safe, reliable, and reasonably priced. The commission is getting more attention as residents across the city have seen their utility bills skyrocket in price in recent months. The commission is also drawing attention from climate activists that have heavily invested in progressive candidates like Davante Lewis who have put climate change solutions at the center of their campaign platforms. Lewis has promised to move the state away from fossil fuels and toward more renewable energy sources by 2030. The runoff will take place on Dec. 10, 2022. 


Across the state, voters cast their ballots on eight new constitutional amendments concerning state budget, taxes, property, political campaigns, and constitutional rights. 

Only three of the eight amendments passed successfully. 

The amendments that passed were amendments two, four, and eight.  Amendment Two will offer property tax exemptions to disabled veterans. Amendment Four will allow governmental bodies that regulate water usage across the state to reduce a customer’s bill if the water use was beyond their control. This includes water use from broken pipes or other damaged infrastructure. The final amendment to pass was Amendment Eight, which will change the current rules for disabled individuals which requires them to annually submit their income to receive a property tax exemption. This amendment will no longer require an annual verification of someone’s income and disabled status. 

Out of the amendments that failed to pass, Amendment Six drew an almost equal percentage of supporters and opponents and lost by less than half of one percent. While it would only affect Orleans parish, the amendment must receive statewide approval. It would have limited how much property tax liability could increase for residential homes that used the homestead exemption

Another failed amendment, Amendment Seven, drew attention as many voters believed it meant that slavery would no longer be allowed as a form of punishment for crimes. However, the amendment would only have removed “slavery” as “punishment for crime” but would still allow “involuntary servitude” as “punishment for crime”. The language of the proposed amendment, which many called vague and confusing, led the author, Democratic State Representative Edmond Jordan, to ask people across the state to vote against it