These Louisiana Democrats are eyeing Cedric Richmond’s congressional seat

Special election could be as early as March 

By: - November 18, 2020 6:00 am

U.S. Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-New Orleans, announces he will resign in January to take a position as senior advisor to the president under the Biden administration. (Wes Muller/LA Illuminator, Nov. 17, 2020).

Several high-profile Louisiana Democrats are eyeing the soon-to-be vacant seat of the 2nd Congressional District after U.S. Rep. Cedric Richmond announced Tuesday that he will resign his post in January to take a senior advisor position in the White House.

President-elect Joe Biden tapped Richmond as his senior advisor and director of public engagement. The 47-year-old New Orleans native worked as national co-chairman of the Biden campaign. Having held public office since he was 26, including 11 years as a state legislator and 10 years in Congress, Richmond’s new workplace will be in the West Wing, providing a great advantage to Louisiana, he said.

Once Richmond’s resignation takes effect in January, his seat will remain open until a special election is held —  expected in March or April.

Possible candidates, all Democrats, include and may not be limited to:

  • Public Service Commissioner Lambert Boissiere
  • State Sen. Troy Carter, New Orleans
  • State Sen. Cleo Fields, Baton Rouge
  • New Orleans City Councilwoman Helena Moreno 
  • State Sen. Karen Carter Peterson, New Orleans
  • Natalie Robottom, former president of St. John the Baptist Parish 

Peterson and Carter both confirmed they will be running for the seat, while Moreno and Boissiere both said they are seriously considering it. Neither Fields nor Robottom could be reached for comment. 

One thing that remains to be seen is whom Richmond will endorse.

“I will play an active role,” Richmond said. “I’m going to look at all the candidates that are running. I will talk to all the candidates to see what their impression is of Congress and the role that you have to play.”

Peterson said she will “definitely be running” and is “hopeful to continue the legacy that (Richmond) started.” She would not elaborate further because she said the day should be focused on Richmond and his legacy.

Carter said he is confident he will receive Richmond’s endorsement.

“Cedric and I have been long-time friends and allies for many years,” Carter said. “I think I will have it…I’m very encouraged by the support that we’ve gotten. From Baker to West Jefferson and all along the River Parishes, I’m very encouraged by the support I’m receiving.”

Andrew Tuozzolo, chief of staff for Councilwoman Moreno, said the councilwoman has not yet decided but is receiving a lot of encouragement to enter the race.

“It’s something that she’s closely looking at,” Tuozzolo said. “A Hispanic person has never represented the district. It might be the highest office a Hispanic person has ever ascended to in Louisiana.” 

Boissiere said he never even considered running until Tuesday when he received a number of phone calls from supporters.

“I’ve gotten so many calls from people asking me, so I’m very flattered that constituents are calling me,” he said. “I want to make the right decision, not only for myself but for the congressional seat and also the public service commission seat.”

With a population of nearly 800,000, the 2nd Congressional District is about 95 percent urban and 62 percent Black. It contains New Orleans and stretches west and north to Baton Rouge, roping in sections of the River Parishes along the state’s industrial corridor.


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Wesley Muller
Wesley Muller

Wes Muller traces his journalism roots back to 1997 when, at age 13, he built and launched a hyper-local news website for his New Orleans neighborhood. In the years since then, he has freelanced for the Times-Picayune in New Orleans and worked on staff at the Sun Herald in Biloxi, WAFB-9News CBS in Baton Rouge, and the Enterprise-Journal in McComb, Mississippi. He also taught English as an adjunct instructor at Baton Rouge Community College. Among his recognitions are McClatchy's National President's Award, the Associated Press Freedom of Information Award, and the Daniel M. Phillips Freedom of Information Award from the Mississippi Press Association. Muller is an alumnus of Jesuit High School and the University of New Orleans and is a veteran U.S. Army paratrooper. He lives in Louisiana with his wife and two sons.